The Ark-La-Tex today welcomed a visitor from the Pentegon - U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited Barksdale Air Force Base.
His visit comes as the Department of Defense plans to cut billions in military spending over the next five years.
During a town hall meet and greet at Barksdale Air Force Base, Panetta told airmen that despite budget cuts, the U.S. will remain strong in the Pacific and the Middle East.
"If I'm asking the force to tighten up, we've got to tighten up at the Defense Department. I've got to after the bureaucracy and overhead," Panetta said.
He added that the U.S. will maintain strong alliances with NATO and others. His speech was not just about cuts, however; he also talked about investing in new technologies for the future.
"We are going to have a smaller and leaner force, but it has to be agile. It has to be quickly deploy-able, it has to be flexible and it has to be technologically advanced," Panetta said.
Also, Panetta presented medals to airmen who have served in Afghanistan and elsewhere.