WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday that cutting his Pentagon staff by 20 percent will save at least $1 billion over five years.
At a Pentagon news conference, Hagel laid out details of the plan, which was announced in broad terms last summer. It is part of a larger proposal to reorganize his staff and trim the budgets of various civilian defense headquarters.
Hagel also called on Congress to avoid another year of forced budget cuts known as sequestration. He has said that forced reductions in 2013 have put at risk the military's ability to carry out its future missions.
"Congress must be a full partner in our efforts to responsibly bring down defense spending and to implement needed institutional reforms that maximize the use of our resources," Hagel said.