Pentagon: More Base Closures, Fewer Troops, Weapons

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The Pentagon today announced a list of proposed wholesale changes that could close bases, realign others, reduce military pay and benefits, and delay purchases of equipment, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Looking to cut billions, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, announced today that President Barack Obama will soon ask for another round of base closings and realignments, never popular with lawmakers trying to preserve military spending, and jobs, in their districts.

Panetta disclosed that two heavy Army brigades will come home from Europe over the next decade, leaving an airborne brigade and a Stryker cavalry brigade on the continent. He also said that purchases of the F-35s will be stretched out over more years, and six of the 60 Air Force tactical jet-fighter squadrons will be eliminated.

Additionally, Panetta said the Navy would retire seven cruisers and two littoral combat ships. All 11 of the Navy's aircraft carriers would be preserved.

The proposal would cut Army personnel from 570,000 to 490,000 and the Marine Corps could see a drop from 202,000 to 182,000.

According to the Associated Press, Panetta has repeatedly stated that he would preserve funding for Special Operations forces, cyberwarfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

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