U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce says White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico plays an important role in national defense and needs to have adequate staff and resources to carry on with its mission.
Pearce's comments come a day after the U.S. Army announced it would eliminate at least 12 combat brigades, relocate thousands of soldiers and cancel $400 million in construction projects as the first wave of budget cuts.
The New Mexico Republican says the plan calls for the inactivation of the 2nd Engineering Battalion at the missile range. That means a decrease of 535 soldiers.
Despite the planned reduction, Pearce's office says early assessments show White Sands' current role is not expected to change.
Pearce says the changes could potentially result in expanding the mission of the missile range.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.