By Tom Vanden Brook, USA Today
WASHINGTON -- The Army estimates automatic budget cuts scheduled to
take effect March 1 will have a $15 billion economic impact and affect
more than 300,000 jobs nationwide, according to documents obtained by
Hardest hit states include Alabama, Texas, Virginia and
Pennsylvania. Among the least affected: Delaware, Wyoming, Montana and
The military faces $500 billion in budget cuts over
10 years from sequestration -- automatic budget cuts. The Army
anticipates that it will need to slash $18 billion in spending by the
end of this fiscal year on Sept. 30.
"It reaffirms what we have
continued to say about the serious implications that sequestration will
have on our national defense and broader economic well-being," said Mike
Amato, a spokesman for the House Armed Services Committee, said in a
The cuts will affect every Army installation, according
to the documents. States with large bases and military contractors are
taking the biggest hits.
Texas, for instance, would face a $2.4
billion economic loss from the Army's budget cuts. Nearly 30,000 Army
civilian employees will be furloughed if the cuts go into effect. They
will lose $180 million in pay. Texas is home to two of the Army's
largest installations -- Fort Hood and Fort Bliss.
last week on Capitol Hill, Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Army chief of
staff, told lawmakers that 3,100 temporary employees were being laid off
and a hiring freeze had been implemented because of the budget crisis.
Maintenance would be canceled and training for soldiers not headed to
Afghanistan or South Korea would be curtailed.
The states most
affected have big maintenance depots, which will be shuttered in coming
months because of the cuts. Pennsylvania, for example, has two major
maintenance depots and is targeted for $751 million in savings. Its
Letterkenny Depot upgrades weapons systems, including Patriot missiles.
Air Force estimates that furloughs of its civilian employees to deal
with the budget cuts will cost them $7.7 billion in wages. Georgia would
be hardest hit, with 15,529 employees losing $120 million in pay.