Ex-Pentagon chief Gates: Budget must be smarter

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says there are smart ways to reduce the size of the nation's defense budget.

Gates said Friday that there are aircraft models that are completely unused and could be decommissioned, like the C-5A Galaxy. Gates also said underutilized military bases should be consolidated to make the department's budget more streamlined but named no specific installations.

Gates spoke during a media availability before he addressed graduates of the University of South Carolina. The former director of the Central Intelligence Agency is addressing graduates at the university's Friday afternoon ceremony and receiving an honorary degree of doctor of public service.

Gates became defense secretary in 2006 under President George W. Bush and continued under President Barack Obama until retiring in June 2011.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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