Fleet Week, July 4 celebration latest victims of sequester

At Fort Bragg in North Carolina, a July 4 fireworks show that draws 50,000 people has been axed this year due to budget cuts, The News & Observer reported.

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The July 4 event has been held on the base for more than 30 years, but Fort Bragg’s commanding general said this week that the base could not afford the $120,000 in overtime pay for security, event planning and management, according to the News and Observer.

“Our reduced operating budget for the remainder of this year forces many very tough decisions,” said Lt. Gen. Daniel Allyn, the base’s commanding general.

The July 4 cancellation and cutbacks to Fleet Week are the latest budget-cutting moves to many of the military’s non-security functions, such as a spate of Air Shows and flyovers that have been cut due to sequester.

Cutting costs for Fleet Week and July 4 celebrations, of course, will make just a small imprint on the Pentagon’s overall budget. The military must trim its budgets by $41 billion in 2013 as a result of sequestration.

During the question-and-answer portion of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s speech at National Defense University last week, one student at the National War College pressed Hagel on why civilians were being furloughed.

“In case your advisers haven't told you, it is affecting morale,” the woman told Hagel.