South Carolina Military Task Force to give $50,000 to Beaufort base preservation, enhancement efforts

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMarch 11, 2013 

The state is giving $50,000 each to four military communities, including Beaufort, to support military enhancement and base preservation programs.

Officials from the S.C. Military Task Force and local military enhancement groups will speak at 2:30 p.m. at the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce about their efforts and the effect of sequestration on the Beaufort area.

Sequestration, or across the board spending cuts, could affect more than 15,000 Lowcountry jobs and $636 million in direct employee compensation a year, according to a 2012 study by the S.C. Department of Commerce.

The spending cuts went into affect March 1 and are expected to total $85 billion this fiscal year and approximately $1 trillion during the next decade. Half of that, plus $500 billion in previously announced cuts, will be cut from the military.

Three military bases are being affected -- Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Naval Hospital Beaufort.

In June, the chamber's Military Enhancement Committee hired a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, Hurt Norton & Associates, to help it follow negotiations about sequestration. It planned to spend about $300,000 on fight the spending cuts and potential base closures.

According to a press release, the Task Force intends to support local efforts financially and through bills being considered by the legislature to help military families and retirees.

Check back with The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet for updates to this story and follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/IPBG_Erin.

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