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.


 
 

 
DoD
MOMC_graphic

DOD salutes children during military child month

The Defense Department believes military children serve their country alongside their service member parents, DOD’s director of the office of family policy/children and youth said. When military children serve, they do so by ...
 
 
DoD

CSAF: Every budget decision hurts

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The U.S. Air Force is the finest in the world, “and we need to keep it that way,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, said March 14. The Air Force’s fiscal 2015 budget request was built to ensure its combat power remains unequaled, Welsh told members of the House Armed...
 
 
DoD
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christine Jones

Defense budget proposal inactivates March squadron

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christine Jones U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez, 4th Combat Camera Squadron, shows digital photographs to an Afghan soldier in Shabila Kalan, Zabul province, Afghanistan. Monday’s rele...
 

 
DoD

Military Saves week approaches

This year’s Military Saves Week begins 24 February and concludes 1 March. It is a great opportunity for service members and their families to insure financial readiness through incentivized savings accounts and available services at financial institutions, as well as the resources provided through the Military Saves Campaign. Military Saves is a social marketing campaign...
 
 
DoD
Defense Department photo/

Spotlight Shines on Sports Programmers during Winter Olympics

Defense Department photo/ Steve McGill Sports Programming Specialist, Willie Price (left), and Chief, Sports Programming, Corey Slutsky, American Forces Network Broadcast Center, each scheduled more than 500 hours of Winter Oly...
 
 
DoD

VA launches online tools — calculate Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits; provide feedback

WASHINGTON, D. C. — The Veterans Affairs Department launched new online tools this week to make it easier for veterans, service members and family members to calculate their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and learn more about VA’s approved colleges, universities and other education and training programs across the country, as well as to provide feedback...
 




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