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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Scott M. Ash

AF Senior leaders give State of the Air Force address

U.S. Air Force photo by Scott M. Ash Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James provides an update with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III on current Air Force operations during a press briefing in the Pentagon, ...
 
 
weed-zapper

Air Force, Ohio, based business develop chemical-, herbicide-free weed zapper

Good Neighbor, Inc. photograph by Ben Edwards Anyone with a lawn or a beautiful flower or vegetable garden, has surely wondered about the best method of controlling or eliminating weeds. Using chemicals and herbicides can help,...
 
 

U.S. service members receive ‘heroic welcome’ at Ramstein

Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone arrived safely at Ramstein Air Base Aug. 24 via military airlift after receiving emergency medical care for injuries sustained while subduing an armed gunman aboard a French train Aug. 21. “We are grateful for Airman Stone’s quick thinking and courageous actions and are thrilled to have him back safely with...
 

 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians who report...
 
 

Air Force birthday

The Edwards Company Grade Officers’ Council cordially invites you to attend the celebration of the Air Force’s 68th birthday Sept. 18. Dinner will be served at Club Muroc at 5 p.m. Menu consists of spinach stuffed chicken, beef Wellington and grilled vegetables over rice. Uniform is mess dress for military/semi-formal and formal and semi-formal for...
 
 

Personnel Briefs August 21, 2015

Undergrad flying training applications due in November The 2016 Air Force Undergraduate Flying Training selection board will convene Jan. 25-28 to select applicants for 2016-2017 pilot, remotely piloted aircraft, combat systems officer and air battle manager training opportunities. Eligible active duty officers must apply by Nov. 20 and selection results will be released in February...
 




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>