The Pentagon will cut $1 billion in personnel costs over five years, a plan that would affect contractor and civilian defense workers, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said.
The number of personnel and support staff reductions are comparatively small overall, Hagel said, but "every dollar that we save by reducing the size of our headquarters and back-office operations is a dollar that can be invested in war-fighting capabilities and readiness," The New York Times reported.
At the same time, he urged Congress not to impose another year of across-the-board sequestration cuts to the defense budget, The Associated Press
"Congress must be a full partner in our efforts to responsibly bring down defense spending and to implement needed institutional reforms that maximize the use of our resources," Hagel said.
If Congress and the president fail to reach agreement on a tax-and-spending plan by Jan. 15 the Defense Department could face another $500 billion reduction over 10 years above the $487 billion planned for the next decade, the Times noted.
The cuts to various units that report to Hagel's office over the fiscal years 2015-2019 would come from eliminating entire operations and their support staffs, using fewer outside contractors, leaving vacant positions unfilled, and significantly reducing the use of civilian personnel.
Hagel plans to do away with several under-deputy and deputy-assistant secretary positions within his office as well as consolidate management, intelligence, policy, and technical units, The Times reported. Those units, which now employ more than 2,400 people, would be reduced to fewer than 2,200.
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