SHOTLIST:

POOL - AP Clients Only

Washington, DC 12 February 2013

1. SOUNDBITE: Ashton Carter, Deputy Defense Secretary:

"The cloud of uncertainty hanging over our nation's defense affairs is already having lasting and irreversible effects, and ultimately, the cloud of sequestration needs to be dispelled and not just moved to the horizon. However this is done, the magnificent men and women of the Department of Defense and their families deserve no less. They need to know with certainty that we'll meet our commitments to them."

2. TWO SECONDS OF BLACK

3. SOUNDBITE: Senator Kelly Ayotte, (R) New Hampshire:

"Sequestration. On a scale from one to ten, one being the least dangerous, ten being the most dangerous, how dangerous is sequestration in terms of the safety of this country?"

4. SOUNDBITE: Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman - Joint Chiefs of Staff:

"Well, I'll take a shot at that Senator. And, from where I sit today, it sure feels like a ten. I mean, some think tank around town might want to negotiate me down to an eight, but it is really serious.

5. SOUNDBITE: Senator Kelly Ayotte, (R) New Hampshire:

"I'm asking you ..."

6. SOUNDBITE: Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman - Joint Chiefs of Staff:

"Ten"

7. SOUNDBITE: Senator Kelly Ayotte, (R) New Hampshire:

"... for your professional judgement."

8. TWO SECONDS OF BLACK

9. SOUNDBITE: Gen. Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army:

"Just a few of the actions we will be forced to take are for example, we'll curtail training for 80 percent of ground forces. This will impact our units' basic war fighting skills and will do shortfalls across critical specialties including aviation, intelligence, engineering and even our ability to recruit soldiers into our army."

STORYLINE:

On Tuesday, leadership of the United States Department of Defense was up on Capitol Hill imploring members of Congress to reach agreement to stop sequestration from starting on March 1.

Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Joint Chief of Staff outlined what will happen to the readiness of American forces once the budget cuts demanded by sequestration go into effect.

(****END****)

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