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.


 
 

 
DoD

New allotment rule protects troops from lending scams

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed a policy change in new paycheck allotments to prevent unscrupulous commercial lenders from taking advantage of troops and their families, Pentagon officials said Nov. 21. According to a Defense Department news release, effective Jan. 1, 2015, the change in DOD’s financial management regulation will prohibit service...
 
 
DoD

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigns

Statement by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel To the men and women of the Department of Defense: I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that this morning, President Obama accepted my letter of resignation. I have agreed to continue to serve as Secretary of Defense until my successor is confirmed by the...
 
 
DoD

AF tests first all-electric vehicle fleet in California

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials unveiled the Department of Defense’s first non-tactical vehicle fleet composed entirely of plug-in electric vehicles, Nov. 14, at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. The rollout of the 42-vehicle fleet marks a milestone in the DOD’s demonstration of emerging technology and the vehicles will serve as a resource to...
 

 
DoD

DoD proposes more lending, credit protections for Service Members

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — On Sept. 29, the Department of Defense proposed broader protections for service members from predatory lenders. The proposed rules aim to close loopholes in current regulations allowing predatory lenders to take advantage of service members. The proposal is primarily aimed at supplementing DoD’s current regulation implementing the Military Lending...
 
 
DoD

DoD celebrates Military Family Month in November

WASHINGTON – November in America traditionally is a month of thankfulness, and the Defense Department chose this month to recognize those who support the nation’s armed forces but who don’t wear the uniform: military families. Barbara Thompson directs the department’s Office of Family Policy, Children and Youth, and Special Needs. She recently spoke with DoD...
 
 
DoD

DoD takes steps to aid absentee voters

WASHINGTON – As the Nov. 4 midterm election nears, Defense Department officials are taking steps to ensure absentee voting is even easier for service members, their families and overseas citizens via FVAP.gov. In coordination with the military services and State Department, Absentee Voting Week begins today, aiming to raise awareness and remind voters of important...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin