DoD

February 7, 2013

DOD leaders: budget deadlock could spark readiness crisis

Tags:
Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

Issuing perhaps their strongest warnings yet, Pentagon leaders yesterday said the budget impasse threatens to create a military readiness crisis.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined in interviews, televised yesterday, with CNN’s Candy Crowley on “State of the Union” and NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”

The budget provision known as “sequester,” which is set to take effect March 1 unless Congress acts, would trigger a half-trillion dollars in defense spending cuts over 10 years, beyond major spending cuts already in place over that period. Defense Department staffs are preparing for the worst, Panetta said.

“If sequester goes into effect, and we have to do the kind of cuts that will go right at readiness, right at maintenance, right at training, we are going to weaken the United States and make it much more difficult for us to respond to the crises in the world,” Panetta said.

“We’ve got to plan for that possibility, … but I have to tell you, it is irresponsible for [sequester] to happen,” the secretary added. “I mean, why — why in God’s name — would members of Congress elected by the American people take a step that would badly damage our national defense, but more importantly, undermine the support for our men and women in uniform? Why would you do that?”

Dempsey noted sequester is only part of the vise closing around DOD. Under the continuing resolution that sets government spending at previous levels when an appropriations bill isn’t passed, Pentagon spending for the fiscal year already is out of balance, he said.

“The combined effects of sequester and the continuing resolution creates a magnitude of cut in the last half of the year,” Dempsey explained. “We have to absorb $52 billion when you count the effects of both sequestration and the continuing resolution in the last half of the year.”

Panetta and Dempsey both have stated repeatedly that defense spending priorities always will be supporting troops in combat and training those next to deploy. The chairman yesterday detailed what civilian employees can expect if sequester happens and they are furloughed.

“They will lose two days per pay period, 20 percent less pay for the rest of the year,” he said.

Dempsey noted that despite public perception, less than a quarter of defense civilian employees

work in the Washington area.

“There’s this notion that [civilian furloughs are] probably OK, because they are just a bunch of white-collar bureaucrats,” he said.

But 86 percent of DOD’s civilian employees “live outside of Washington, D.C., are in our schools, in our clinics, in our motor pools, in our depots, in our factories,” Dempsey added. “This will affect the entire country, and it will undermine our readiness for the next several years.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

Arizona Airmen memorialize fallen Iraqi fighter pilot

Members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing honored the life and memory of Iraqi Air Force Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sideeq Hasan during a memorial service here July 7. Hasan died June 24 after his F-16 Fighting Fa...
 
 

Deployed A-10s take to the skies

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) An aircraft maintainer assigned to the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron inspects the oil levels of an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft engine during a theater security package deployment to Lask Air Base, Poland, July 13. The U.S. and Polish air forces will conduct training aimed at...
 
 

Airmen leverage TFI concept

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Thirty-eight service members, including individuals from the 944th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal section, participated in a Battlefield Forensics training course here at the end of June. Together, Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Hunter, 944th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD program manager and Joshua Nason, General Dynamics Information Technology ...
 

 

Celebration and education; Equal Opportunity

  In 1948, Ester Blake became the first enlisted female in the U.S. Air Force, pictures were still black and white, and families gathered around radios for the evening news. Since then, the U.S. Air Force has gone through many changes. The Davis-Monthan Equal Opportunity office specializes in making sure that everyone is treated equally...
 
 
DoD

Final rule puts more teeth into Military Lending Act

  WASHINGTON – The Defense Department today closed loopholes to protect U.S. men and women in uniform from predatory lending practices, President Barack Obama said this morning at the 116th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The heightened level of financial and consumer-rights protection against unscrupulous practices, called the final rule of...
 
 

AF continues to work with DOD, OPM on cybersecurity incident

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force maintains its commitment to protect personal information from cyber threats by continuing efforts with the Defense Department and the Office of Personnel Management to assist those impacted by the recent cyber incident involving federal background investigation data. OPM and an interagency response team, including investigators from the FBI and...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>