Air Force

June 21, 2013

Welsh: Sequestration continues to drain crucial capabilities from America’s Air Force

Gen. Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, speaks during the Air Force Association breakfast in Arlington, Va., June 17, 2013. Welsh gave comments on where the Air Force is today and where it hopes to be in 2023 and that the Airmen serving today, can and will solve the issues of the Air Force.

The Air Force’s top officer reported on the growing strain sequestration has put on readiness, personnel and modernization to a group of civic and industry leaders attending the Air Force Association’s monthly breakfast in Arlington, Va., June 17.

Sequestration has hit the Air Force hard, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III.

Like the rest of the Defense Department, the Air Force has seen severe reductions in funding, leading to concerns about critical mission factors including the readiness of pilots and aircraft that aren’t flying today.

“We’ve got folks sitting in fighter squadrons looking out of windows at aircraft that they haven’t touched since the first of April,” Welsh said.

Currently, the Air Force has stood down 33 squadrons, 12 of which are combat-coded fighter and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance units. Another seven squadrons have been reduced to a basic mission capable rating.

Even before sequestration, there was a readiness crisis in the Air Force, Welsh said. The severe cutbacks required by the sequester will further downgrade force readiness beyond the current fiscal year if a budget agreement is not reached.

“We can’t just all of a sudden accelerate training and catch up,” he said. “It costs up to 2 1/2 times as much to retrain a squadron as it does to keep it trained.”

Welsh emphasized the Air Force’s efforts to continue to save where possible.

“We’re looking for every option for where you can cut money — every modernization/recapitalization program,” Welsh said.

Regardless of reductions, the service cannot perform its air superiority mission with today’s aging F-15 and F-16 fighters, and limited number of F-22s, the chief of staff said, making the new F-35 non-negotiable.

“When we truncated our F-22 buy, we ended up with a force that can’t provide air superiority in more than one area at a time,” Welsh said. “The F-35 is going to be part of the air superiority equation whether it was intended to be, originally, or not.”

Welsh pointed out other countries will begin flying stealthy, highly-advanced fighters in the coming years, and if the U.S. doesn’t have the aircraft to counter them in a high-end fight it will be in trouble.

There’s nothing else that can do what the F-35 can, he said.

“Out there where people fight and die, for real, if a fourth-generation aircraft meets a fifth-generation aircraft, the fourth-generation aircraft may be more efficient, but it’s also dead,” Welsh said.

 




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


 
 

 

News Briefs March 6, 2015

MPS closures The Military Personnel Section will be closed March 6, 14 and 20, from noon-4:30 p.m. for on in-house training. The CAC/DEERS office will remain open during its normal business hours 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. For more information, call 661-277-4366. Legal assistance postponement Due to a severe shortage of manpower,...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner

Monthly enlisted promotions

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner Team Edwards Airmen sing the “Air Force Song” during the monthly enlisted promotion ceremony in the base theater Feb. 27. The 412th Test Wing generally holds its monthly promotio...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

Annual fair opens job opportunities for transitioning military

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Katherine Keelin, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department custody assistant, answers questions from a military spouse during the annual Military Transition and Spouse Employment Job Fair hos...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner

Top Acquisition official, nominee for AFMC command, visits Edwards

Air Force photograph by Ethan Wagner Lt. Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, Military Deputy, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, is greeted by Col. Robert Lepper, 412th Maintenance Group commander, durin...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Luncheon celebrates dignity and rights of all men

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Lt. Col. Randel Gordon, F-22 Combined Test Force director of flight operations, was the keynote speaker at the African American/Black History Month Luncheon Feb. 26. He told the tale of two...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Edwards leadership discuss economic impact at AVBOT

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The Antelope Valley Board of Trade Business Outlook Conference was held in Lancaster, California, Feb. 27. The Antelope Valley Board of Trade held its 43rd annual Business Outlook Conferenc...
 




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>