Air Force

March 15, 2013

Sequestration pinch includes tuition assistance suspension

by Amaani Lyle
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Though budget woes led the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force to suspend their tuition assistance programs and the Navy continues to consider its options, the program is important to the Defense Department and to service members, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.

“The program enables the professional and personal development of our service members and facilitates their transition to the civilian workforce,” Little said at a Pentagon news conference.

The press secretary placed the blame on a “sequestration” mechanism in budget law that kicked in March 1, triggering across-the-board spending cuts that Pentagon officials repeatedly had warned would harm the nation’s military readiness.

“Let me be clear: we’re here because of sequestration,” he said. “If sequestration were averted, we may be facing a different set of choices on these and other programs.”

Last week, Little said, the Defense Department’s comptroller issued guidance suggesting the services consider significant reductions in funding tuition assistance applicants, effective immediately, for the duration of the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

“We’re in a period of terrible budget uncertainty,” Little said. “This department  is making multiple decisions that aren’t exactly to our liking, but we are having to swallow bitter pills, not because we want to pop them, but because we’re forced to make some very tough decisions.”

Such decisions, Little explained, are the “unfortunate outcomes” of budgetary uncertainty and the need to ensure the availability of necessary resources to respond to crises around the world.

“We’re walking soberly into the sequester period,” Little said, before relating Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s direction on the matter.

“His very clear instructions have been for us to, in a very calm, cool and collected manner, deal with the hand we’ve been dealt and it’s an unfortunate hand,” Little said.

Little maintained that DOD officials have been transparent, both within the department and with the American people, about sequestration’s consequences.

“We’ve been very clear about impacts to readiness and the services are making decisions on a broad range of programs,” Little said. “It should come as no surprise to anyone that these kinds of decisions are coming down the pike.”




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


 
 

 

BASH: Protecting our aircraft, Airmen

U.S. Air Force photo/2nd Lt. Bari Wald David Briseño, wildlife biologist with the United States Department of Agriculture and head of Marchs’ Bird/Anti-Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) program, prepares to fire a 12-gauge ‘shell cracker’ into the air with his shotgun. Firing ‘shell crackers’ is one of many pyrotechnic methods used in the BASH program to...
 
 
US_Air_Force_Logo

Strategic agility is the future of the Air Force

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — As the Air Force prepares for new challenges and opportunities of the coming decades, it faces sobering 21st-century realities: global centers of power have become more distributed and the terrorism th...
 
 

SECAF: Air Force grapples with Congress to fund readiness

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — To balance readiness today and modernization tomorrow, the Air Force’s fiscal year 2015 budget request is shrinking like today’s defense budget thanks to Congress’s own priorities and the approaching threat of sequestration in 2016, Air Force leaders said July 30. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief...
 

 
BlueTube

Voting now open for American Airman Video Contest

  Voting for the 2014 American Airman Video Contest is now open and runs until Aug. 22 at 3 p.m. CDT. The contest launched July 1 for all Total Force Airmen to showcase their Air Force stories in short selfie videos. “Ev...
 
 

AF implements career intermission pilot program

WASHINGTON — Up to 40 active-duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard officers and enlisted members who meet eligibility requirements will be offered between one and three years of partially-paid time out of uniform to focus on personal and professional pursuits under the Career Intermission Pilot Program, or CIPP, Air Force officials announced July...
 
 

Air Force to change enlisted evaluations, promotions

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — Air Force officials announced a series of sweeping changes to the Enlisted Evaluation System and Weighted Airman Promotion System (WAPS) July 31. The changes are intended to ensure the Air Force truly makes job performance the driving factor and will be implemented incrementally beginning in August 2014 and continuing through early 2016....
 




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