HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - The US Secretary of Defense suggested major cuts to the Armed Forces Monday. If approved, the number of troops would be at their lowest levels since before World War II.
Redstone Arsenal officials said it is far too early to know about any major changes at their facility. One reason for this is because nothing will change, even on the national level, unless Congress approves the budget.
If Congress does sign off on the proposed budget cuts, it would bring the number of Army troops to 450,000 or fewer. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the budget proposal protects funding for cyber warfare and special operations – which will help maintain the US' technical edge.
However, he admitted Monday that the changes also mean more risk. Still, Hagel said the military is still capable of defending the country here on the homeland and overseas. "Our recommendations favor a smaller and more capable force, putting a premium on rapidly-deployable, self-sustaining platforms that can defeat more technologically advanced adversaries," he said.
Alabama Senator Richard Shelby believes operations at Redstone's missile defense and helicopter programs will not be affected, should the cuts be passed in the budget. "What you do here at Redstone is on the cutting edge. I don't believe that is going to be cut. It can't be cut if we are going to be a first-rate power," said Shelby.
Shelby also advised caution. "As we shrink our forces, we better be careful," he said. "The security of this nation and our commitment abroad are very important."
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