SHOTLIST:

POOL - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Washington - February 6, 2013

1. Leon Panetta introduced at event at Georgetown University

2. SOUNDBITE: Leon Panetta/Defense Secretary

"If these cuts happen, there will be serious disruption in defense programs and a sharp decline in our military readiness. We have already begun an all-out effort to plan for how to operate under such a scenario, but it's also clear that there are no good options."

DVIDS - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Atlantic Ocean - July 18, 2012

3. Plane landing in routine flight operation aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman. Plans for the USS Harry S Truman to deploy to the Gulf later this week have been canceled.

POOL - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Washington - February 6, 2013

4. SOUNDBITE: Leon Panetta/Defense Secretary

"These steps would seriously damage a fragile American economy and they would degrade our ability to respond to crisis precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe: Africa, to the Straits of Hormuz. Syria, to North Korea."

DVIDS - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Atlantic Ocean - July 18, 2012

5. Aircraft on flight deck of the USS Harry S Truman. Plans for the USS Harry S Truman to deploy to the Gulf later this week have been canceled.

AP - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Washington - February 6, 2013

6. SOUNDBITE: Michael O'Hanlon/The Brookings Institution

"It makes sense, frankly because we have other options for keeping our power in the Persian Gulf. We can make better use of these, we can put land based airplanes on some Gulf state's territories. Sometimes it has to be done discretely but it can be talked about to a degree. And also if we need more carriers for an operation, for example a possible counter nuclear strike, we can always surge them at a given moment. We don't need to have them there all the time."

DVIDS - AP CLIENTS ONLY

Norfolk, Virginia - December 19, 2012

7. USS Dwight D Eisenhower returns to Norfolk.

STORYLINE:

The Pentagon is cutting its aircraft carrier presence in the Persian Gulf region from two carriers to one, the Defense Department said Wednesday. The move represents one of the most significant effects of budget cuts on the U.S. military presence overseas.

During an event at Georgetown University, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, "if these cuts happen, there will be serious disruption in defense programs and a sharp decline in our military readiness."

Panetta has approved keeping just one carrier in the Persian Gulf region. The U.S. has maintained two aircraft carrier groups in the Gulf for most of the last two years.

Panetta also said, "these steps would seriously damage a fragile American economy and they would degrade our ability to respond to crisis precisely at a time of rising instability across the globe: Africa, to the Straits of Hormuz. Syria, to North Korea."

Plans for the USS Harry S Truman to deploy to the Gulf later this week have been canceled. The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, brought home from the Gulf in December for the resurfacing of its flight deck and other maintenance, will return later this month and stay until about summer.

The USS John C. Stennis will leave the Gulf and return home after the Eisenhower arrives.

Michael O'Hanlon is a senior fellow with the 21st Century Defense Initiative and director of research for the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution.

O'Hanlon says the decision "makes sense, frankly because we have other options for keeping our power in the Persian Gulf. We can make better use of these, we can put land based airplanes on some Gulf state's territories."

(****END****)

 

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