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Crane Braces For Defense Funding Cuts

Last updated on Tuesday, January 31, 2012

(CRANE) - Naval Surface Warfare Center - Crane is bracing for defense funding cuts being drafted by the Pentagon.

About 5,000 workers are employed at Crane. The facility has supported U.S. military missions for seven decades.

Congress has ordered the Defense Department to cut $487 billion over the next 10 years and those cuts could impact Crane.

Republicans say President Barack Obama's plan will leave the Pentagon stretched too thin to handle potential security threats in the Middle east, Asia and beyond.

The plan includes about 80,000 Army troops being cut; the Marines will be cut back by 20,000. But even with the cuts Defense Secretary Leon Panetta say the U.S. military will be larger than it was in 2001.

The cuts will include realignments and base closures. But it will sink more money into technologies to prevail in an anti-access, aerial-denial scenario and will fund the next-generation bomber and modernization of the submarine fleet.

The 2013 defense spending request, expected to total about $525 billion, is scheduled to be submitted to Congress on Feb. 13th.

Col. Alan Pratt, Crane's new commander and the first Marine to take the helm there, cannot comment on the upcoming Department of Defense cuts. Pratt may release a statement when the defense budget is released and proposed cuts are identified.

Crane supporter Mike Gentile says the cuts could seriously affect Crane and devastate the regional economy.

Crane has survived past federal base closures and defense cutbacks, most recently in 2005.

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