Commentary

March 15, 2013

Sequestration is here

by Lt. Col. Michael Tatum
51 Comptroller Squadron

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — By now, most Americans are aware of America’s fiscal crisis. The national debt is at $16.5 trillion and rising. The fiscal crisis is driving the need for budget cuts across the federal government. The Defense Department makes up approximately 20 percent of the federal budget, so we should expect the DOD will have to make its fair share of budget reductions.

So exactly, what is sequestration? Sequestration is part of the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-25). It is designed to balance the federal budget by introducing an automatic process of across-the-board budget cuts.

Under sequestration, the DOD will see a seven percent reduction in its budget. These budget cuts will essentially be “peanut butter spread” across all of the accounts. When sequestration happens, the DOD budget process is essentially ignored and the budget cuts are laid in with no consideration of priorities. This means our DOD and Air Force leaders have little opportunity to provide input on where the budget is cut.

Sequestration is happening and budget cuts must be made. The DOD and Air Force officials would prefer to make budget decisions based on the Planning, Programming, Budget, Execution and System, also known as the corporate process. This system provides a more deliberative process for establishing priorities, making strategic budget decisions and documenting the rationale for those budget decisions. The PPBES process provides Air Force leaders with more influence on how these major budget reductions will impact Air Force operational capabilities.

Based on my 15 years of budgeting experience, I would like to provide three suggestions to all Airmen on how they can assist our Air Force leaders with meeting our budget challenges.

Know your wing’s mission and priorities

Each Airman should understand how their job impacts the wing’s mission and where it fits in the commander’s priorities. Once you understand how your job affects the mission, you can communicate the impact of budget reductions in your job area more effectively. This is vital in ensuring decision makers have all of the information needed to make the correct budget decisions.

Elevate funding shortfalls with mission impacts

The most effective avenue for elevating funding shortfalls is by submitting an unfunded requirement submission to your squadron commander. Unfunded requirements allow you to identify a mission requirement that has not been adequately funded. These unfunded requirements are prioritized at the wing level and then elevated to the major command for funding consideration. If you have questions about the unfunded requirements process, you can see your resource adviser or your wing budget officer.

Be prudent when spending taxpayer dollars

Last, but certainly not least, be a cost conscious user of government resources. You should treat the taxpayer’s dollars as though it is your family’s money. Do your part to conserve energy, for example, saving fuel and utilities. Also, be critical of new purchases for furniture or computers. Look for creative ways to save money, every dollar helps. The Air Force’s new vision statement, A Vision for the U.S. Air Force, states, “Every Airman should constantly look for smarter ways to do business.” Your ideas and creativity will make us a more efficient Air Force.

My three suggestions are very basic, but can render huge benefits if Airmen commit to being part of the solution to the budget challenges. The Air Force needs help to ensure these budget cuts have the least amount of impact to the Air Force’s operational capabilities. America needs help to assist with solving the $16.5 trillion debt. I encourage all Airmen to be innovative and get engaged and be part of the solution.




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


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

Native American legacy of honor, dedication

Courtesy photo Pfc. Charles George is the most recent Native American to receive the Medal of Honor. He was recognized for saving members of his unit during the Korean War by throwing himself on a grenade and absorbing the expl...
 
 
power-of-Airmen

Airmen Powered by Innovation program launches new site

graphic courtesy/Defense Media Activity Fellow Airmen, Your enthusiasm and ingenuity continues to be our Air Force’s number one weapon system! In April of this year we launched the Airmen Powered by Innovation program aimed a...
 
 
NAIHM_14_Poster_square

DEOMI releases National American Indian Heritage Month observance products

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – In observance of National American Indian Heritage Month, celebrated each year from November 1-30, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) proudly announces the availability o...
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Perry Covington

Force Support Squadrons integrate, effectiveness increases

U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Perry Covington Airmen from 452nd Air Mobility Wing and the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing’s Force Support Squadron have integrated as part of the 3 to 1 Total Force Personnel Management Initiative, allo...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Matt Proietti

War’s end meant 452nd’s demise…for 20 months

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Matt Proietti Technical Sgt. Ed Hinrichs, left, and Staff Sgt. Harvey A. Shaw share memories of their time as B-17 Flying Fortress gunners at a 452nd Bomb Group Association reunion. (F...
 
 
ncsam-graphic

Online vigilance helps reduce security risks

I received at least five emails last week warning me to secure my social media settings and be aware of what I post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Why? Do you not like to see what I had for dinner last night? Too many #sel...
 




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