Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (Getty Images)
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is warning business leaders in Hampton Roads that automatic defense cuts scheduled to take effect in January would be devastating to the military.
Panetta spoke Friday at a Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce forum on the state of the military.
The Pentagon would face cuts of about $500 billion in projected spending over 10 years as a result of the planned cuts known as sequestration.
The Hampton Roads area plays host to all five branches of the military and is home to the world's largest naval base. The region's economy is heavily dependent on military spending and Panetta said he would do everything he could to keep the area strong for the military in the future.