WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps will cut costs by reducing troops rather than weapons programs, a military official said.
Assistant Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford said the Marines will meet debt-ceiling mandated budget cuts by reducing troops from 202,000 to 186,800, The Hill reported Thursday.
The Defense Department has been ordered to make $350 billion in cuts in a decade. Military officials have said they can make the cuts without hurting national security.
"In terms of procurement, we have protected that," Dunford told The Hill. That means plans for high-profile programs like the V-22 tiltrotor aircraft, a variant of the F-35 fighter and a new amphibious personnel craft remain on track, the newspaper said
Dunford, however, warned steeper budget cuts proposed by some lawmakers would require "difficult decisions" for the Marines.