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.


 
 

 
Senior Airman Devante Williams

Luke 1 flies first ‘student’ F-35 sortie

Senior Airman Devante Williams Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, prepares Wednesday for the first F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter training sortie at Luke Air Force Base with Senior Airman Patrick Murph...
 
 

Bring ‘invisible class’ into view

When I was a young boy, my father explained to me that there was dignity in work. He told me to always respect the worker regardless of how thankless or menial their job may appear to be. He said that you never know the burdens a person may be carrying, or the family members that...
 
 

Set S.M.A.R.T. goals for success

“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” ~ Diana Scharf Hunt What personal or professional goals do you want to achieve this year? Do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to make that next rank? Goal setting is a powerful tool that can turn a vision of the future into reality. Top athletes and...
 

 
Courtesy photo

Club Beyond: Where friends, fun, faith connect

Courtesy photo Charles and Joe compete to see who can attach the most clothespins to their faces Dec. 1, 2014, at Club Five Six. Club Beyond has more than 100 trained staff and hundreds of volunteers at over 40 locations worldw...
 
 

News Briefs March 20, 2015

Finance office hours The 56th Comptroller Squadron finance office will open at noon Monday due to the CSAF All Call and will be closed 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday for an official function. Tuskegee Airmen ceremony The Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day ceremony is 10 a.m. Thursday at Luke Air Force Base Tuskegee Airmen Memorial...
 
 

CSAF All Call — bus pickup points

Gen. Mark Welsh III, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, all call is 10:30 a.m. Monday at Hangar 999. There will be bus pickups at the points indicated on the map. They begin at 9 a.m. and the last pickup will be at 10 a.m. All personnel must be in place by 10:15 a.m.
 




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