Chris Van Horne, Fort Worth Reporter
The White House announces cuts in defense spending over the next decade which will directly affect Fort Worth.
Two of Tarrant County's biggest employers say it's too early to know how the Pentagon's new Strategic Guide will affect their businesses.
President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unveiled on Thursday the Pentagon’s guide for how to cut spending and refocus the military.
The 16-page report doesn't specifically outline where those cuts would take place -- that information is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
The Pentagon must cut $450 billion over the next decade. The strategic guide will help decide what programs and personnel will be cut back.
Those cuts could have a huge impact on Fort Worth defense contractors.
Fort Worth-based Bell and Lockheed Martin are two of the areas largest employers. They employed nearly 20,000 workers last year, according to the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.
Robert Hastings, Bell Helicopter spokesman, released the following statement:
"As the President and the Secretary have just issued their budgetary guidance today, the extent and nature of DoD budget implications is yet undetermined. It is therefore inappropriate to comment until we see the final approved budget and understand its impact. However we remain optimistic as we see the decisive difference rotorcraft give to our war fighters on the battlefield."
And Lockheed Martin released this statement in response to the guide:
“We applaud President Obama, Secretary Panetta and General Dempsey for developing new strategic guidance for the DoD that will drive budget priorities and decisions, and include well-defined goals based on a rigorous analysis of the global security challenges and evolving threats.
While it’s premature to speculate on the impact of the DoD’s new strategic guidance on our business, we understand the importance of balancing national security priorities with fiscal responsibility, and we remain focused on our continuing drive for greater efficiency and affordable execution on every program. We are confident that our actions, combined with our strong portfolio of critical technologies and high-performing products, position us to partner with our government customers to protect U.S. national security interests while implementing the new guidance.”
One of the biggest concerns for Lockheed is the F-35 program which has come under scrutiny in recent months for its costs. The impact on that program won’t be known until specific cuts are released.