McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Homepage

February 4, 2013

Inhofe, 'Potential devastating impacts to Oklahoma’s defense sector'

Oklahoma City — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is warning of “potential devastating impacts to Oklahoma’s defense sector” — including the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant — should sequestration go unaddressed by President Barack Obama.

At McAAP, up to 1,700 civilian employees face furloughs if sequestration goes into effect, according to Inhofe. As ranking member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, Inhofe is the highest ranking Republican on the panel.

Sequestration refers to $1.2 trillion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts for both defense and non-defense spending set to go into effect March 1 if the president and Congress do not agree to stop them.

“During the presidential campaign, Obama said ‘sequestration will not happen,’ even going so far as to pressure the defense sector to disregard the WARN Act and delay issuing pink slips until after the election,” Inhofe said in a statement issued from his Washington D. C. office. “Yet here we are with another one of his failed promises.

“The Department of Defense is now being told to prepare for sequestration and for furloughing more than 800,000 civilian employees.

“In my home state of Oklahoma, all five of our major installations will see budget cuts. As a result, readiness and modernization will decline and many civilian personnel will be let go or have their hours significantly reduced, impacting local economies,” Inhofe said.

In addition to employee furloughs, Inhofe said McAAP also faces:

• Cuts in civilian personnel performing installation operations and support functions

• Decreased installation and facility operation hours

• Decreased maintenance to installation facilities and infrastructure

• Decreased logistics and depots operations —receive, store, issue and stockpile surveillance

• Decreased weapons demilitarization

• Decreased weapons procurement due to decreased training, slower reset and reduced research and development funding

• Increased risk to war fighters

Inhofe referred to previous statements made by Department of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta regarding the looming cuts.

“Despite Sec. Panetta calling these cuts ‘devastating’ and ‘catastrophic’ to our national security, our commander-in-chief has chosen to ignore this crisis,” Inhofe said.

“If we are unable to avert sequestration, then cuts will occur to military installations.”

“I cannot stress enough how important it is for the chiefs of the services to fully explain the potential impact to our armed forces and their plans for implementing the reductions; only then will the public truly know how devastating the cuts to the defense budget would be.

“As ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, I am firmly committed to working with our military leaders to find reasonable alternatives to eliminate or mitigate the effects of sequestration.”

Recently, the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a warning that the “readiness of our Armed Forces is at a tipping point,” Inhofe noted.

In response, on Jan. 28, Inhofe and his 11 Republican colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee issued a letter to Chairman Carl Levin requesting an open hearing for the Joint Chiefs to outline the impacts of sequestration on the readiness of our forces and national security.

In addition to McAAP, Oklahoma is home to Altus Air Force base, Fort Sill, Tinker Air Force Base and Vance Air Force Base. Should sequestration take place, Inhofe says the installations, as well as the Oklahoma National Guard, could be affected.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Crash south of Kiowa

On Wednesday, Oklahoma State Trooper Sean Mass is pictured at the scene of an early morning car accident south of Kiowa on US Highway 69. The driver 16-year-old Blanca Medina-Santos was transported to McAlester Regional Health Center where she was listed in stable condition.

Local Sports
First Bird

Taylor Coffee, of McAlester, poses for a photo with her first turkey. The bird was harvested south of Calvin Saturday.

Features
David Cantrell

David Cantrell

State news
Area crime and courts

Poll

What team is your favorite Oklahoma college football team?

OU (University of Oklahoma)
OSU (Oklahoma State University)
     View Results
NDN Video
Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video Miley Cyrus Hospitalized After Severe Reaction To Medicine Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Toddler climbs into vending machine 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America
Featured Ads
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
SmugMug