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While Navy and Air Force bases in Europe cope with budget cuts and fee hikes to help pay for the Iraq war, the theater’s Army bases haven’t suffered much, Army officials say.

U.S. Army Europe did see its budget trimmed from $2.6 billion in 2003 to $2.2 billion this year, said Bob Purtiman, a USAREUR spokesman. But he attributed the reduction almost entirely to the command’s reduced commitments in the Balkans.

“The difference should not be construed as a budget cut to USAREUR,” he said in a written statement. He also said no training events have been canceled, although some training funds earmarked for deployed units were instead used to help those move to Iraq.

The Installation Management Agency-Europe, which oversees base operations in the theater, suffered a budget shortfall of $30 million this year, about 2 percent of its $1.44 billion budget. Millie Waters, an IMA-Europe spokeswoman, blamed the deficit partly on the demands of the Pentagon’s commitments in Iraq and elsewhere.

She said the command has frozen hiring but has so far avoided layoffs of temporary employees as had been expected when IMA-Europe announced the cuts in May. Travel and training also has been reduced and some construction projects delayed until after the 2005 fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

But, Waters said, some of the cuts have been offset by extra funds earmarked for the home bases of units — primarily from the 1st Armored Division — forced to stay in Iraq for more than a year.

The Hanau, Germany-based 104th Area Support Group already has received $2.6 million, she said, and an additional $9.2 million for other units is expected soon.


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