DoD

June 21, 2013

Comptroller offers glimpse of post-sequester options

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The budget storms assailing the Pentagon are unprecedented, the Defense Department’s chief financial officer said in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Pentagon Comptroller Robert F. Hale told an audience attending the 2013 Defense Communities National Summit, “and I hope we never see it again.”

Hale asked attendees how many of them had seen serious effects from sequestration defense spending cuts at their home installations and dozens of hands went up around the room.

Hale said the across-the-board cuts, costs for the war in Afghanistan that were higher than expected and continuing resolutions that have in recent years replaced approved budgets have left Pentagon planners unable to make long-term course corrections.

Remaining shortfalls in fiscal year 2013 clearly show “we haven’t fully landed this plane,” Hale acknowledged and he warned that 2014 and 2015 could be just as bad.

Cuts to training and maintenance this year will result in future “get-well” costs as the services clear backlogs and retrain members, Hale noted. If Congress passes a budget this year, he added, he’s confident defense programs will be funded near the levels President Barack Obama requested. If a continuing resolution again takes the place of an approved budget, however, “we would face the get-well costs without the resources to get well,” the comptroller said.

Defense officials, including Hale, have maintained repeatedly that they can save greatly in the long term if Congress allows them to close excess facilities and the budget request this year again asks for a round of base realignments and closures, Hale noted.

Studies have shown DOD has 25 percent too much infrastructure, all of which is expensive to maintain and operate, the comptroller said. He added that while it is a “significant understatement” to say Congress is reluctant to approve base closures, previous Base Realignment and Closure rounds resulted in ongoing savings of $12 billion per year. Consolidating or closing underused military facilities will be essential to the department’s future financial health, he added.

“We need the help of the United States Congress. The BRAC is an obvious example,” he said, but it’s not the only area in which the Pentagon needs Congress to act.

“We need their permission to retire lower-priority weapons and slow the growth in military pay and benefits,” he said, noting “uniform agreement” among the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the department must contain personnel costs.

Hale said results from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s strategic choices in management review — which has been completed and is now being studied at the Pentagon’s highest levels — will guide spending decisions in the coming years.

Sequestration has been and remains a painful experience, Hale said, but he added that defense managers are learning to identify lower-priority initiatives as cuts increase.

“Some of those decisions shouldn’t be reversed.. As we recover from this long disease called sequestration, I hope we can benefit just a little bit from the cure,” he said.




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


 
 

 
Tammy_Duckworth,_official_portrait,_113th_Congress

Knowing the facts: National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, was deployed to Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard in 2004. One of the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Fr...
 
 

452nd felt early frost in Cold War

(Ninth in an 11-part series that was first run in the Beacon in 2007) Two weeks after the D-Day invasion, 47 B-17s from the 452nd Bombardment Group and other Army Air Forces units were destroyed by German aircraft at a largely undefended Russian airfield. The attack, which began about 12:30 a.m. June 22, 1944, destroyed...
 
 

Air Force to implement TDY policy changes

The Air Force recently implemented two TDY policy changes that will impact travel reimbursements for Airmen. The first change, which took effect Oct. 1, made changes to the Joint Travel Regulations, Reimbursable and Incidental Expense Policy. The second will be a change in long-term TDY per diem expenses and take effect Nov. 1. Under the...
 

 
running

Lacing up: Finding your ‘WooHoo’ moment

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Natasha Stannard For those who run with me, they know I can get a bit noisy. A celebratory “WooHoo” is a must at the start of taking any hill. The drumbeat of sneakers on the pavement, labore...
 
 
Dom-Violence-Aware-Month-photo

Domestic Violence awareness Month: How to help a friend who is being abused

Here are some ways to help a friend who is being abused: •Set up a time to talk. Try to make sure you have privacy and won’t be distracted or interrupted. •Let your friend know you’re concerned about her safety. Be hone...
 
 
(Courtesy photo/Joe Mora)

Shadowy figure blocks exit to room in March Field building

(Courtesy photo/Joe Mora) A camera captures what appears to be a shadowy figure (left side) sitting in one of several chairs lined up against a wall in a building on March Air Reserve Base Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The image wa...
 




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