The military services have been given until Monday to come up with more than $30 billion in defense cuts for next year to comply with the deficit-reduction plan worked out by the White House and congressional leaders, according to a published report.
Internal budget directives to the services sent Nov. 23 by Deputy Defense Secretary William H. Taft IV tell the Navy to absorb the largest of the reductions, $11.6 billion, followed by the Air Force, $10.5 billion, and the Army, $9 billion, Aviation Week reports in its Dec. 7 issue.
It will be up to the services to propose where the cuts should be made, but the orders rule out new programs and direct the services to emphasize terminations of defense machinery production as a way to cut costs, the magazine reported.
Taft also called for "serious consideration" of reducing troop strength, the magazine said.
The services' responses are to be given to Defense Department Comptroller Robert W. Helm. The magazine said Helm told it that in a Nov. 25 memo he had instructed the services to ignore the pending fiscal 1988 appropriations action as well as military and civilian pay raises, since those and other factors will be incorporated later as the Pentagon budget process unfolds.
Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci has said that no matter what the services propose, he will make the final decisions on the cuts. Carlucci also has said that he does not expect the Pentagon will be able to complete the job of revising the fiscal 1989 budget submission until February or March. Such submissions generally are completed and given to Congress in January.
The White House and congressional negotiators agreed Nov. 20 to reduce the budget deficit by $76 billion over two years, with about $30 billion in cuts in fiscal 1988, which began Oct. 1, and $46 billion in fiscal 1989. Congress has not yet given final approval to the plan, which incorporates both budget cuts and increased revenues.
President Reagan had sought $332 billion for defense in fiscal 1989, which begins Oct. 1, 1988, but under the deficit-reduction compromise, the Pentagon would get $299.5 billion.
For the Navy, Taft ordered the requested 1989 budget level of $108.7 billion to be reduced to $97.1 billion; for the Air Force, the level will go from $107.2 billion to $96.7 billion, and for the Army, the level will go from $84.7 billion to $75.7 billion.