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Defense cuts sink in for Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton

The budget cuts will cost the Navy $9.6 billion and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is expected to take a $90 million hit. Photo of four decommissioned aircraft carriers docked at the Shipyard in Bremerton courtesy Jelson25.

“Less steaming, less flying, less training.”

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus says that will be the result of deep budget cuts that will kick in if Congress doesn’t pass a defense budget by March 1, 2013.

Mabus addressed nearly 1,600 at Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton Wednesday. The budget cuts will cost the Navy $9.6 billion and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard is expected to take a $90 million hit.

The Navy Secretary says that would “seriously dent the income and morale of our civilian workers.”

Those on active duty will receive the same pay and benefits, but civilian employees may be subject to 22 furlough days. Civilian workers could also see their hours cut from 40 per week to 32, which amounts to a 20 percent pay cut.

Mabus didn’t comment about the possibility that the Seafair Blue Angels might be cancelled this summer. (Congress might shoot down Seafair’s Blue Angels).

Next week I’ll have a story of how military budget cuts are even impacting more than a hundred students at an area high school.

Meanwhile, the show goes on. Thursday, Mabus will join Gov. Jay Inslee at a ship-naming event on the Seattle waterfront.

In April, Mabus announced the naming of five Virginia-class fast attack submarines after states, including Washington. The ceremony will take place now, though the boat won’t be delivered until 2016.

By LINDA THOMAS

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