More funding cuts might be coming for Wyoming military units

Nov 18, 2013 The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- The leader of the Wyoming Military Department warned Friday that more federal budget cuts could cause further pain for National Guard units in the state.

Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Luke Reiner said the Guard is still reeling from the impacts of the sequestration and last month's federal government shutdown.

But he said a second round of sequestration-mandated budget reductions could amplify concerns about troop levels and their mission readiness.

Reiner said the Wyoming National Guard could see a significant reduction in its number of troops and its ability to buy new planes if those cuts go through.

The across-the-board $1.2 trillion in federal budget cuts over 10 years, known as the sequestration, went into effect March 1. This caused more than $50 billion to be cut from the Department of Defense's budget for the current fiscal year.

Among the local impacts was the requirement that more than 400 Wyoming Military Department employees take off six unpaid furlough days.

But Reiner said unless Congress acts, the second round of the sequestration n another more than $50 billion cut for the military could have even deeper ramifications.

This is because the Army is undergoing a troop reduction plan independent of the sequestration.

Reiner said the current plans calls for the Wyoming Army National Guard levels to drop from 1,742 in fiscal year 2014 to 1,630 in fiscal year 2015.

But if the sequestration cuts continue to occur, that number might be even lower.

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