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News > Carter: Hill AFB will continue to be key to national defense
Deputy Secretary of Defense
Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter addresses a full hangar of Airmen and civilian employees Nov. 5 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Carter visited Hill for approximately three hours to visit with Team Hill Airmen. He also had the opportunity to visit F-35 maintenance facilities, the ICBM prime integration contract support facility and learn about the Falcon Hill Enhanced Use Lease development. (U.S. Air Force photo/Alex R. Lloyd)
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Carter: Hill AFB will continue to be key to national defense

Posted 11/5/2013   Updated 11/6/2013 Email story   Print story


by Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

11/5/2013 - WASHINGTON -- Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter assured military and civilian employees at Hill Air Force Base Nov. 5 that despite the changing posture of the military, Hill will continue to play a significant role in the nation's security.

Carter traveled to Hill to remind those working for Utah's largest single-site employer that the base is set to host the military's newest warplane, the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter, and that despite the end of more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, "Hill has a very bright future."

"You will host the F-35, which is the linchpin of our tactical future for all three services that will fly them," he said, "and Hill is going to have a big part in that future."

Nearly 3,000 civilian employees at Hill were furloughed last month, along with hundreds of thousands of other federal workers when the government was partially shut down because of a budget impasse.

Carter acknowledged the sacrifices employees have made and thanked them for enduring the uncertainly, furloughs and pay freezes associated with what he called the "mayhem" in Washington and the ongoing budget sequester, which threatens to cut tens of billions of additional dollars from Pentagon spending next year.

"Sequester, furloughs -- it's disgraceful, it's inexcusable, it's embarrassing," he said. "It shames us in front of others around the world that we can't manage our own internal affairs better."

But he praised Hill as being "a leader in simply getting better buying power for the warfighter and the taxpayer."

Carter has announced plans to step down as deputy defense secretary next month.

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