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-Standalone---140411-F-HT977-026

Weather: Exercise component

First responders prepare to transport a simulated injured patient during an extreme weather exercise April 11 at Luke Air Force Base. The exercise was designed to train and evaluate Luke Airmen on readiness and preparation for ...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Plane crash, coma doesn’t deter pilot

Courtesy photo Retired Capt. David Berling, 56th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, stands in front of his 1977 Cessna RG March 23, 2012, at the Glendale Airport. Berling lost his legs in a 2007 plane crash, the subject ...
 
 

Comprehensive support system helps unit resiliency

In today’s Air Force environment of force restructure, budgetary constraints, continued mission requirements and resiliency, establishing a comprehensive support system in a unit is absolutely essential for success. Each organizational tier, whether at the element, flight or squadron level, must be resilient and have support mechanisms in place to not only meet, but exceed daily...
 

 

Preparing for next rank makes successful Airmen

As Airmen we have many responsibilities and duties we must carry out in accordance with our jobs. According to AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, our responsibilities are as follows: junior enlisted Airmen initially focus on adapting to military requirements, achieving occupational proficiency and learning how to become highly productive members of the Air Force....
 
 
Senior Airman
JASON COLBERT

Energy office helps keep lights on

Senior AirmanJASON COLBERT Master Sgt. Adam Kelley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron base energy manager, explains the value of low wattage light bulbs to Robert Wimp at the Energy Conservation Month booth April 9 at Luke Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2014

Change of command Lt. Col. Jon Wheeler relinquishes command of the 310th Fighter Squadron to Lt. Col. Matthew Warner at 8:31 a.m. today in Hangar 913. Days of Remembrance The 2014 Days of Remembrance of the Holocaust Victims is May 2 at Club Five Six. A Holocaust exhibit of masks of holocaust survivors and paintings...
 




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