The Norman Transcript

Headlines

March 2, 2013

Hagel: budget cuts won’t erode U.S. military power

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel lamented $46 billion in automatic defense budget cuts as “abrupt and arbitrary” but expressed confidence Friday that the Obama administration will find ways to manage them without jeopardizing national security.

At his first news conference since replacing Leon Panetta as Pentagon chief, Hagel struck a more relaxed tone about the budget reductions, part of $85 billion in government-wide spending cuts that were taking effect Friday at midnight.

Whereas Panetta had warned of “catastrophic” effects that could reduce America to the status of a “second-rate” military power, Hagel said he believed the across-the-board budget cuts and their far-reaching effects will prove manageable.

“Today, America has the best fighting force in the world capable of responding to any challenge,” he told reporters. “This unnecessary budget crisis makes that job much harder. But we will continue to ensure America’s security.”

Hagel met for a little over an hour with the chiefs of each of the services, plus the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Martin Dempsey, to discuss budget issues.

Hagel told reporters that numerous actions will be taken in coming days by the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps to begin meeting the requirement for $46 billion in budget savings by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. He said thousands of defense civilian workers, for example, will be notified later this month that they could be required to take one day of unpaid leave per week through September.

President Barack Obama has exempted military personnel from the automatic budget cuts, and the Pentagon has decided that its combat operations in Afghanistan, as well as its nuclear weapons force, will be protected from reductions.

Even so, the Army will curtail training of forces other than those scheduled to go to Afghanistan; the Air Force will reduce flying hours for pilots and the Navy has already announced plans to delay ship deployments and ship maintenance.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Braddy_1. Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Police identify woman found dead Monday

    Norman police have identified a woman found dead in her home at 2202 Donna Drive Monday afternoon. Police responded at 1:25 p.m. to the residence of Cassandra Thompson, 30, after receiving a report that she had not shown up for work ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Residents speak out about document regarding shelter photos

    Norman and metro-area residents showed up in overwhelming numbers, many in red shirts, for an Animal Shelter Oversight Board meeting Monday night demanding for their opinions to be heard....

    July 29, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • Mixon’s attorney says athlete acted in self-defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon says the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense. “This past Friday morning, Joe Mixon found himself in a situation ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Be ready for ‘prolonged’ Gaza war, prime minister says

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Signaling an escalation of Israel’s Gaza operation, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israelis Monday to be ready for a “prolonged” war, and the military warned Palestinians in three large neighborhoods to ...

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014