As Congress continues to feud over the 2011 budget, defense agencies are struggling to maintain operations and equipment programs.

The Army and Marine Corps have imposed a hiring freeze for civilian employees that perform duties such as payroll, security and air traffic control. Also, the Defense Department has delayed equipment repairs on a new Virginia-class submarine, the purchase of Chinook helicopters and the rebuilding of war-damaged Humvees.

The U.S. government is currently being funded under a stop-gap budget extension that sets federal government funding at the 2010 level. Republicans who control the House and Senate Republicans say they are using this opportunity to end dozens of programs and slash spending on numerous others, in order to rein in federal spending.

As a result, there is “inefficient, start-and-stop management” of the armed forces, with greater use of one- and two-month contracts that are inherently inefficient said Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Senator Susan Collins told the New York Times that the use of stopgap spending bills not only hurt military readiness, but also imperiled jobs at shipyards, factories and military installations.

Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said the temporary funding “is not a workable approach” since it restricts spending. “Serious problems are already occurring,” he said. “If the current CR continues throughout the year, it will cause significantly more harm.”

The budget impasse has also stalled contracts for companies NitroSecurity, a cybersecurity company who works with the Defense Department, NASA and the Food and Drug Administration. “We have been selected for additional contracts, but the money is in limbo because of the continuing resolution,” said Kenneth R. Levine, the chief executive of NitroSecurity.

The Navy said the cuts have delayed some projects and could jeopardize about 90 construction projects in 13 states, costing up to 7,300 jobs. The Navy could cancel another 1,300 private sector jobs related to maintenance on ships, aircraft and engines.

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Chandler Harris is a freelance business and technology writer located in Silicon Valley. He has written for numerous publications including Entrepreneur, InformationWeek, San Jose Magazine, Government Technology, Public CIO,, U.S. Banker, Digital Communities Magazine, Converge Magazine, Surfer's Journal, Adventure Sports Magazine,, and the San Jose Business Journal. Chandler is also engaged in helping companies further their content marketing needs through content strategy, optimization and creation, as well as blogging and social media platforms. When he's not writing, Chandler enjoys his beach haunt of Santa Cruz where he rides roller coasters with his son, surfs and bikes across mountain ranges.