Army Chief of Staff visits Anniston Army Depot - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Army Chief of Staff visits Anniston Army Depot

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Cuts could go deeper than expected at the Anniston Army Depot. The sweeping cuts under sequestration affected civilian workers across the military. Now, more people in Anniston could feel the sting. 360 temporary employees did not have contracts renewed when they expired on Saturday.

The Army Chief of Staff and Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army visited the depot to talk with employees abut budget impacts and the future of the army.

"There's still quite a bit of uncertainty out there. We're still working on priorities on how we will spend money the rest of the year in the army." U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond Odierno, says the army is trying to make the best decisions to move forward, hoping the government won't go into a full sequestration. He says a final decision must be made this year.

In the meantime, there could be more cuts. The General says civilian employees at the Anniston Army Depot could be furloughed for 14 days, which could be the immediate impact this year. "It will have an impact on the amount of equipment we're able to get through here and with that impacts the readiness of the army."

It would also impact the livelihood of depot employees. Zach Norton says he and his co-workers are scared about losing money and about the future of the depot. "I took a second job at a gas station so it wouldn't be that much in gas because I can't afford to lose 600 a month with nothing else coming in."

General Odierno says the potential to have to furlough is because of a shortage of operational money to complete oversees missions. But on a positive note, he did say as the army draws down troops in Afghanistan equipment oversees will need to be re-set, which means a continued workload at the depot. "This is a national treasure, what we have here in Anniston. It's a place that helps us to continue to ensure we have the best equipment in the world."

If there is a furlough, the general could not tell us when it will happen. He's hoping it won't come down to that. We did ask him about North Korea and he said the U.S. is working with South Korea to ensure we continue to watch the situation carefully and that there's no over reaction.

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