Service chiefs warn $1T cut would be ‘catastrophic’

Hill panel told of threat to readiness

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On that theme, Gen. James Amos, the Marine Corps commandant, said the nation may lose forever the industrial ability to produce vertical take-off and landing aircraft, such as the Corps’ Harrier fighter, and the tilt-rotor aircraft Osprey.

“There’s not another nation in the world,” Gen. Amos said. “So if those lines were closed, that becomes terminal. That will become irreversible. You will not be able to gain that back.”

Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force chief of staff, said the new F-35 strike fighter and the KC-46, which refuels war planes in battle, also would be in jeopardy under sequestration.

The Air Force, he said, “as a matter of simple physical limitation, it will be able to accomplish fewer tasks in fewer places in any given period of time.”

Said Mr. Smith: “One thing’s absolutely clear. We’re not going to have more economic opportunity in this country if we have less influence in the world. It doesn’t work that way.”

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