Pentagon Preparing For Defense Cuts

(KPLR) – Members of the military will be listening closely to the president’s state of the union address Tuesday night, for words of cuts to the defense budget.

Pentagon leaders are urging congress to stop automatic budget cuts known as the “sequester.”  That is a series of across-the-board spending cuts that are set to kick in on March 1st.

The deputy defense secretary testified before lawmakers Tuesday on the effects the cuts would have on his department.

Ashton Carter says, he would have to start furloughing employees, which Scott Air Force Base officials know is a possibility.

Carter also, offered up part of his own salary to help them out.

Even before sequestration kicks in, Scott Air Force Base is immediately reducing spending.

A spokesman says, the base is cancelling all temporary duties that are not mission critical, such as attendance at or hosting conferences.

Also, they will curtail flying that is not directly related to readiness, such as air shows, flyovers and familiarization rides.

And Scott has instituted a civilian hiring freeze for all non-mission critical positions.

The Scott Air Force Base spokesman says they are awaiting guidance from the Department Of Defense about further budget cuts.