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Panetta Ready to Announce Pentagon’s Future Roles and Missions

TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Facing huge cuts in his operating budget, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will outline this week how the Pentagon will function in a new age of austerity.

As much as $450 billion will be cut from the Defense Department's budget over the next decade with more than 50 percent of the reductions coming before 2018.

At the still unannounced press conference, Panetta will talk about the roles of the military over the next 10 years, its missions and how it will adapt to global changes.

Among other things, the Pentagon will earmark $500 million for the U.S. Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq and put off construction of the CVN-79 John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier by two years.

With tensions growing in the Pacific Rim due to the rise of China and the uncertainty of North Korea's new regime, the U.S. also plans to bolster its presence in the region -- a plan first mentioned by President Obama during his trip there last November.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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