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Fort Carson: Spending Cuts Could Curtail Training

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (AP) — Fort Carson might have to curtail training for soldiers who aren’t getting ready to deploy if mandatory spending cuts take effect next week, a senior spokesman at the post said Friday.

The Army also might have to delay repairing or replacing some vehicles, Lt. Col. Armando Hernandez said.

The cuts would not affect any units that are deployed, he said.

About 2,000 soldiers from Fort Carson’s 1st Brigade Combat Team are currently deploying to Kuwait. No plans have been announced to deploy any other soldiers from the post.

Fort Carson is home to four brigades of about 3,800 soldiers each that make up the 4th Infantry Division. The post outside Colorado Springs also houses medical, support and other units.

Hernandez said soldiers who aren’t preparing to deploy would not travel to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., or the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La., for exercises if the spending cuts take effect. But he said no Fort Carson units were currently scheduled to train at either center.

The Defense Department has portrayed the impending cuts as deep and damaging to readiness. It said thousands of civilian workers — including more than 10,000 in Colorado — could face intermittent unpaid furloughs.

Civilians who could face furloughs in Colorado include 3,900 at Peterson Air Force Base, 3,000 at Fort Carson, 1,500 at the Air Force Academy and 630 at Schriever Air Force Base, all in the Colorado Springs area.

Another 600 civilians who work at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora and 600 who work for the Colorado Air National Guard and Colorado Army National Guard could also be furloughed.

The military said the furloughs would start in late April because of the lead time required to notify the workers. They would average one day a week through the end of the fiscal year, which is in late September.

Some civilians would be exempt from furloughs, including food-service workers at the academy and fire and police personnel at other installations.

The Air Force furloughs alone could cost the Colorado economy more than $48 million in lost wages, the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance estimates.

No estimates were available for the total cost of all the furloughs.

By Dan Elliott, AP Writer (© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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