Automatic Federal Budget Cuts To Impact McAlester Army Ammunition Plant
McALESTER, Oklahoma - If lawmakers in Washington can't get a deal done soon, sequestration will take effect starting March 1st and it will impact Oklahoma.
Sequestration is a series of automatic spending cuts that kick in if a budget deal isn't done.
The state of Oklahoma will feel the sequestration crunch, particularly in our defense sector.
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe says the defense cuts would be devastating and cites the Army Ammunition Plant in McAlester as an example.
The plant employs about 1,700 people. It make bombs and other heavy munitions.
The plant's public affairs department told News On 6 management's already been told to lay off temporary employees, but it's prepared for more cuts come March.
Plant commander Colonel Timothy D. Beckner released a statement to News On 6:
McAlester Army Ammunition Plant is engaged and planning for possible sequestration. We continue to plan for a variety of possible scenarios.
To date, nothing has been done at McAAP that is irreversible. Most important, we continue to provide the munitions required by our war fighters currently engaged in combat and those preparing to go into harm's way.
Nothing will compromise that support or the safety of our workforce. To conserve resources, we have initiated several proactive measures including a hiring freeze, curtailing official government travel and eliminating all non-mission critical training to reduce our expenses. We are reviewing contracts for further possible savings.
We remain committed to our nation's war fighters and the safety of our workforce who provide those vital munitions.
News On 6 spoke to 2nd District Congressman Markwayne Mullin who said the people in McAlester are frustrated and concerned about cuts at the plant.
Colonel Beckner says nothing will compromise the mission of the plant.