Hagel says Pentagon staff cutbacks will save $1 billion

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says cutting his Pentagon staff by 20 percent will save at least $1 billion over five years.

At a Pentagon news conference Wednesday, Hagel laid out details of the plan, which was announced in broad terms last summer. It is part of a larger proposal to reorganize his staff and trim the budgets of various civilian defense headquarters.

Hagel also called on Congress to avoid another year of forced budget cuts known as sequestration. He has said that forced reductions in 2013 have put at risk the military's ability to carry out its future missions.

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