DoD

July 12, 2013

Admiral warns of potentially devastating cutbacks

WASHINGTON — Budget cuts and spending restrictions are forcing defense leaders into measures that are “basically hollowing out the force through sequestration,” the commander of U.S. Pacific Command said today.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s letter sent to Congress yesterday is “an accurate description of what’s happening to the force at-large,” Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III told Pentagon reporters.

Hagel’s letter outlined the department’s “plan B” for defense spending if sequester continues, which would mean a roughly $50 billion cut per year over a decade. The secretary warned lawmakers this would necessitate a RIF, or involuntary reductions in force, for civilian employees and a severe slowdown to military modernization. Hagel’s worst-case scenario included an essential halt to recruitment, change-of-station moves and promotions.

Locklear said that before finalizing the approach he outlined in his letter, Hagel “did reach out, as always, to all the [geographic combatant commanders] to get our perspectives on what’s happening to readiness.”

The admiral added that as the letter describes, the driving forces that would make those measures necessary involve both “the money … [and] the way that the money is being managed.”

The law protects much of the defense budget, he said, so funding cuts have to come mostly in operations and maintenance accounts, while leaders must also push resources to essential operations such as those in Afghanistan and North Korea.

“What happens is that the services are then required to not overhaul ships, not fix airplanes [and] not do training at home,” Locklear said. “… So we’re basically hallowing out the force through sequestration.”

The Navy and the military he joined 41 years ago were hollow, the admiral said. Hollowing out a high-performing military force, he told reporters, “… doesn’t take [more than] a year or two.”

Shrinking the force can be done, he said, but it must be managed efficiently to bring a high quality result. “And the sequestration is not allowing that to happen,” he said.

Pacom cancelled several exercises this year alone because of the budget pressure, Locklear said.

“We maintain the main exercises with our allies, even though in some of those exercises we actually dialed down the amount of participation we had,” he said, adding most of the cancellations were of U.S.-only exercises.

“For today, if you ask the chief of the Air Force, he’ll tell you that about one-third of his airplanes and air crews back in the United States are not flying,” Locklear said. “The number of steaming days and flying hours that are allocated to me in the Pacific … are being decremented. It just pushes the risk up for those service members who are potentially out there in harm’s way. And that’s going to exacerbate through ‘14 if the sequestration is not relieved.”

 




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


 
 

 
Pg-1-photo-150612-F-EC705-058

Emerald Knights go out with bang

Emerald Knights watch a burning piano during the 308th Fighter Squadron inactivation party June 12 at Luke Air Force Base. The 308th FS and aircraft maintenance unit have packed up and are transitioning to the 314th FS standing...
 
 
2_lemery_d2

Respect — want, earn, give, but don’t lose it

Lt. Col. David Lemery We all want it, some earn it, some are given it and some lose it. Respect can be defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities or achievements. As ...
 
 

Solve problems at lowest level

Crucial in our Air Force environment today is having the proper tools and skillsets available to deal with problems. There is literally something new almost every single day that will invoke problem solving skills. When faced with a problem, an important mindset to have is to resolve the issue at the lowest possible level. Some...
 

 

News Briefs June 26, 2015

607th ACS change of command Lt. Col. Charles Jones will relinquish command of the 607th Air Control Squadron to Lt. Col. Jerald Canny in a ceremony at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Hangar 999.   CMS change of command Maj. Scott Hall will relinquish command of the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron to Maj. Anthony Sutton in...
 
 

Fighting Falcons arrive at Holloman

Courtesy photo Six F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 308th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base arrive in formation June 16 at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The 308th FS has inactivated and the soon to be activated 314th FS assumes the 308th FS mission of training F-16 pilots as a 56th Fighter Wing...
 
 
5_Courtesy-photo

Monsoon season blows in storms, rain, dust

Courtesy photo Arizona is known for being sunny with clear skies for the majority of the year, but every year “it” happens. As the clouds roll in, the sky darkens with thunderbolts streaming overhead, and the first drops of...
 




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>