Fort Carson braces for potential furloughs

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FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) -- Fort Carson says about 3,000 civilians employed by the Army post could potentially face unpaid furloughs, if automatic government spending cuts kick in March 1.

The looming cuts were enacted to overcome a budgeting standoff two years ago. They will take effect if the White House and Congress cannot strike a deficit reduction deal before March 1.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday that many of the Defense Department's 800,000 civilian workers could face furloughs of up to 22 days if the cuts kick in.

Fort Carson says it already has had a civilian hiring freeze and has tried to reduce costs by curtailing nonessential training and travel.