Utah's two senators pressed the head of the Defense Logistics Agency on Friday to consider "all the facts" before deciding how a Pentagon budget cut will affect operations at Defense Depot Ogden.
Defense Secretary Dick Cheney has said there will have to be a 25 percent cut in Pentagon operations in the next few years.Sens. Jake Garn and Orrin Hatch, both R-Utah, met with Lt. Gen. Charles McCausland, director of Agency and asked him to come up with cost-benefit analyses before making any cuts at DDO.
"If they can convince us that cuts are economically justified we will not fight them," Garn said.
"Gen. McCausland made it clear that DDO will remain," Hatch said. "Even though there will be a net 25 percent defense cutback, we believe Utah bases will come out sparkling. Whatever cuts there do have to be made," he added "will come through attrition."
Garn said Secretary Cheney has promised not to make cuts based on politics. "But if I were the secretary of Defense, I'd make huge cuts in some congressional districts."
"There is an incredible double standard here. Those of us who supported a strong defense should benefit. Those who cried about spending on the military and voted against a strong Department of Defense should pay the price."
Hatch said current analyses of DDO are excellent. "Its efficiency rating is good. Utah is a good place to do business."
Both men said Gen. McCausland "guaranteed" that the Ogden base would remain open indefinitely, though some of its missions may be realigned. Hatch noted that data processing and other high-tech work has been planned to shift to DDO.