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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Sean Dath

Local organization donates packages to March troops

U.S. Air Force photo/Sean Dath Nora Shaw, project coordinator for Sariaya Association of California, puts the final touches on a care package prior to it being sent to deployed servicemembers from March ARB. Deployed service me...
 
 

‘Tis the season to drink responsibly

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. (AFNS) — It’s that time of year when holiday parties and late night celebrations begin to fill our calendars and we look forward to spending time with family and friends to celebrate our own special reasons for the season. Every Christmas Eve, I celebrate my life and I give thanks...
 
 

Good cyber security habits essential during holidays

With so many new methods for cyber theft, it’s important to remember to take extra steps to protect your bank accounts and money this season, as criminals look to take advantage of the increased spending activity. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your identity and your wallet. Here are some tips for...
 

 

Shop and donate wisely this holiday season

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris recently issued tips on how Californians can protect themselves from identity theft and make the most of their charitable giving throughout this holiday season. Tips for safe shopping: Review your bank and credit card statements frequently for unusual and unfamiliar transactions. In the event of a security breach involving...
 
 
HBI--strength-training-getting-started

Build a better body through strength training

Strength training, also called weight training, boosts your metabolism by adding lean muscle, helping you lose weight and keep it off. It can also prevent diabetes, fight aging, keep your bones strong, protect your memory, lowe...
 
 

Air Force Fitness Management System slated for upgrade

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Active-duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard officers and enlisted members who want to maintain copies of their pre-July 2010 fitness records need to access the Air Force Fitness Management System (AFFMS) and save or print their records by Dec. 30, Air Force Personnel Center officials said Dec....
 




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