Posted: Feb 25, 2014 1:09 PM by Nick Thompson, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Feb 25, 2014 9:07 PM
KNOB NOSTER - After U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called for a large-scale shrinking of the army Monday, KOMU 8 News learned Tuesday proposed cuts could have economic consequences for communities all over the state.
In announcing the Pentagon's 2015 budget proposal, Hagel said the army could eventually shrink from a wartime peak of 570,000 members to 450,000. If the number of troops drops to that figure, the army would be at its smallest size since just before World War II. The defense department is shrinking its budget because Congress mandated reductions in defense spending as part of the Budget Control Act, or sequester.
"We are repositioning to focus on the strategic challenges and opportunities that will define our future: new technologies, new centers of power and a world that is growing more volatile, more unpredictable, and in some instances more threatening to the U.S.," Hagel said Monday.
The cuts could affect several air combat units within the Missouri Army National Guard. The 35th Combat Aviation Brigade has units based in Springfield, Lebanon and at Whiteman Air Force Base and 402 active duty personnel work in those units. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri wrote a letter to Hagel, saying eliminating the units could deliver a $34 million blow to the military communities.
"We write to express our deep concern with the Department of the Army's proposal to cut Army National Guard combat aviation assets and force structure," wrote 12 U.S. senators. "This shortsighted approach creates unnecessary risk to our national security at the expense of incredibly capable attack aviation assets in the Army National Guard."
Hagel also said the department recommends phasing out use of the A-10 Warthog fighter plane. The department said that could cut out $3.5 billion in federal spending.
Whiteman AFB in Johnson County hosts A-10 jets and more than 1,000 personnel work with the planes there.
Dianne Simon chairs the Sedalia Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee. Simon told KOMU 8 News Tuesday west-central Missouri communities fear the A-10 personnel leaving Whiteman.
"We see them every day in the stores and in our restaurants eating," Simon said. "Those people would be gone so that's going to affect our local businesses - it's going to have a huge local impact on us."
Hagel will forward his recommendations to President Obama. The president will use them to craft his budget proposal, which he is expected to reveal next week.
Congress has already agreed the Pentagon should spend just under $500 billion in the 2015 federal budget year, but now Congress need to decide how to spend it.
Posted 4:19 AM 11/28/2015 by The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Governor's Mansion is about to look a little more festive.
The Christmas trees that will adorn the Jefferson City mansion are arriving Monday morning. The outside tree is a 30-foot Norway spruce that came from the yard (More)
Posted 2:58 PM 11/27/2015 by Nick Komisar & Amy Money, KOMU 8 Reporters
COLUMBIA - The moment the MU football team announced on Twitter that it wasn't going to play until former UM Systems President Tim Wolfe resigned, the Concerned Student 1950 movement was thrust into the national spotlight. A photo was tweeted by some members of the team locking arms, with (More)
Posted 1:52 PM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
BRANSON (AP) — Authorities say deputies have killed a man who shot his wife and pointed a handgun at the deputies.
KOLR-TV reports that 58-year-old Rick Gullickson was killed early Friday at a home in southern Stone County. The Stone County Sheriff's Department said (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 1:18 PM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
HANNIBAL (AP) — Mark Twain's 180th birthday is being celebrated this weekend in his boyhood hometown.
The Hannibal Courier-Post reports that a mustache competition and a masquerade mask art show are among the activities planned for Saturday at the Mark Twain Boyhood (More)
Posted 1:14 PM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
WEST PLAINS (AP) — A south-central Missouri man has been charged in a deadly crash.
The West Plains Daily Quill reports that 33-year-old Kevin Matthew Stephens, of Pomona, is jailed in Howell County on an involuntary manslaughter charge. No attorney is listed for (More)
Posted 10:29 AM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Local elected officials and state lawmakers are praising Gov. Jay Nixon for calling for settlement money to be spent in areas damaged by lead mining.
Nixon this week directed the state Department of Natural Resources to identify restoration (More)
Posted 10:11 AM 11/27/2015 by Ashton Day, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
JEFFERSON CITY - Despite the rain, Missouri State Parks and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources are encouraging Missourians to spend Black Friday outdoors.
Missouri State Parks is waiving all camping fees the evening of Nov. 27. The campsites will be first come, first (More)
Adv. - more news below
Posted 8:40 AM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The $380-million Gateway Arch grounds overhaul in St. Louis has opened its first renovated park.
The Arch and its grounds are undergoing a $380-million renovation, which includes a planned 46,000-square-foot expansion of the visitor center and a redesigned Museum of (More)
Posted 8:36 AM 11/27/2015 by The Associated Press
FESTUS (AP) — Administrators of a thrift store in suburban St. Louis are trying to reunite someone with $1,200 in cash that officials said appears to have been accidentally included in donated items.
As the interim (More)