By PAULINE JELINEK
Automatic spending cuts that took effect Friday are expected to touch a vast range of government services. Some examples:
One of the Navy's premier warships, the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, sits pier-side in Norfolk, Va., its deployment to the Persian Gulf delayed. The carrier and its 5,000-person crew were to leave Feb. 8, along with the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg. The Navy also began plans to gradually shut down four of its air wings â¿¿ which include 50 to 60 aircraft each and are assigned to the carriers â¿¿ and delay and cancel the deployments of several other ships.
Furlough notices will begin going out later this month to about 800,000 defense department civilians, who will lose a day's pay each week for more than five months. The Army will let go more than 3,000 temporary and contract employees and beginning in April, it will cancel maintenance at depots which will force 5,000 more layoffs. The Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy's Blue Angels will cancel air show appearances.
Veterans' funerals at Arlington National Cemetery could be cut to 24 a day from 31, meaning delays in burials for troops from past wars. Troops killed in action in Afghanistan will be the priority â¿¿ they are usually laid to rest within two weeks, Army spokesman George Wright said. But overall funerals would be reduced by about 160 a month because of furloughs among civilian employees who work with families to schedule services as well as furloughs among crews that dig the graves and do other grounds work.
Pentagon investments in countering cyberthreats and nuclear proliferation will be at risk, says Michael Vickers, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence. And the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, says the agency could be hit hard because it depends heavily on military and civilian personnel to accomplish its mission.