UPDATE: Proposed cuts pack big impact for Wisconsin city

UPDATED Sunday, March 2, 2014 --- 10:26 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- To see the impact of strategic military decisions on local communities, look no further than Marinette, Wis.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's vision for leaner, more versatile military targeted the littoral combat ship, the marquee product of the city's biggest employer. That could mean lost jobs in Marinette, a city of roughly 11,000.

Marinette Mayor Denise Ruleau says the threat of cuts has been hanging out there. She says her community is aware of what it has -- two 10 ship contracts -- and that they are certain to provide another five years' worth of work.

Hagel's proposal would cancel 20 of a planned 52 ship orders. Marinette's biggest employer is Marinette Marine, which builds the littoral combat ships.

About 2,000 jobs in Marinette are directly linked with the ship program.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted Monday, February 24, 2014 --- 5:57 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says he is seeking cuts to a Navy combat ship program that is linked with thousands of jobs in Wisconsin.

Hagel said Monday that he plans to limit an order of littoral combat ships to 32 total vessels. That's 20 fewer than had been planned. The ships are built in Marinette, Wis., and Mobile, Ala. About 2,000 jobs in Wisconsin are linked to the ships.

Hagel says he's concerned the Navy is relying too heavily on the littoral combat ships. He says the Navy needs to examine whether they have the capabilities to survive against modern adversaries.

Local lawmakers have resisted cuts. Congress would have to approve the proposed cuts in its budget process and President Barack Obama is expected to submit his budget next week.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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