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      Military task force distributes $200,000 to local installations

      State Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, chairman of the S.C. Military Base Task Force presents City of Columbia officials with $50,000 check for base preservation.

      COLUMBIA (WACH)-Despite fiscal uncertainty in Washington, the state of South Carolina has committed financial reources to protect federal military installations within the state.

      Tuesday, members from the Military Base Task Force presented a $50,000 to the City of Columbia to support their ongoing base- preservation effotrs. Three additional communities, Beaufort, Charleston and Sumter also recieved a $50,000 check this week for a total of $200,000 distributed.

      See related stories Eckstrom: SC bases may face budget perfect storm Potential military cuts would greatly impact state, Midlands Fiscal cliff offers hint at more defense cuts

      State Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, chairman of the task force, says South Carolina's military installations contribute greatly to the state's economy and to national security.

      "We have a good story to tell our congressional delegation, a good story to tell our department of defense officials when we go to Washington DC," says Eckstrom "and [we] can hold South Carolina's military installations out as installations not only that continue to do their jobs well but that could be expanded."

      Across-the-board federal spending cuts, known as "sequestration," began being implemented last week. The cuts are expected to total $85 billion this fiscal year and approxiamately $1 trillion over the next decade.

      The military is slated to absorb half of them, on top of nearly $500 billion in other cuts in military funding previously authorized.