Air Force

March 15, 2013

Sequestration impacts ripple across Air Force

Tags:
Alan Black
Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testifies before the House Appropriations Committee’s Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, March 5 in Washington, D.C.

(AFNS) — Air Force senior leaders issued updated guidance to leaders of Air Force major commands and addressed the service’s Airmen last week on how the service will operate under sequestration and a continuing resolution for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Acting Under Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Jamie Morin and Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer detailed in a memorandum what the service will do to navigate through an uncertain fiscal environment.

“On 1 March 2013, we expect to absorb over $12 billion in sequestration reductions while we simultaneously work to mitigate an [overseas contingency operations] shortfall of $1.8 billion and operate under a highly restrictive continuing resolution,” they say in the memorandum.

“These events are unprecedented for the department and the USAF,” Morin and Spencer wrote.

In a letter to all Airmen, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III talked about what sequestration means for the service.

“March is here, and unfortunately, so is sequestration … that means the entire Department of Defense, including our Air Force, will experience about a nine percent budget cut across all programs — starting now, and with no ability to adjust which accounts those cuts come from,” Welsh said.

Sequestration, signed into law as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, is a package of mandated cuts to the federal budget, totaling some $1.2 trillion over 10 years of which some $85 billion takes effect in fiscal 2013.

In their memo, Morin and Spencer said a reduction of this magnitude would be devastating to our mission and our people.

One of the most notable impacts is furloughing of approximately 180,000 civilian employees.

Civilians may be furloughed without pay for up to 22 discontinuous (or 30 continuous) days spread over a maximum number of pay periods possible with no more than 16 hours furloughed in pay period. The covered pay periods are from April to September 2013. The memo noted that only the Air Force vice chief of staff or other high-level designees can approve limited mission-driven exemptions.

Addressing the operational impacts, Welsh noted the immediate actions to training to protect the strategic advantage that airpower provides — the ability to respond at a moment’s notice.

“Some of our flying units will start to cut back on training immediately to protect the readiness of units scheduled to deploy and those with key mission responsibilities,” he said.

Of the more visible actions taken to support readiness needs, leadership has cancelled all aviation support to public events for at least the remainder of the fiscal year and is standing down the Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team.

The memo also outlines additional impacts to education and training programs, weapon systems sustainment, working capital funds and investment accounts.

On the education and training front, the Air Force will continue to attend all scheduled Defense Department and joint education and training events, but, third quarter attendance at short-term professional military education courses will be reduced, as well as all Headquarters Air Force leadership development courses scheduled through April 2013.

While the measures must be taken, Morin and Spencer stressed the need to carefully evaluate each action.

“Implementation of these actions should be structured as best possible to minimize short- and long-term harm to our people and unit readiness,” they said.
Welsh emphasized the importance of teamwork in working through these impacts.

“The impacts of sequestration will be noticeable, they’ll likely affect you, and, in some areas, they’ll hurt our mission in a big way,” he said. “But we’ll hang together and get through this … and hopefully our nation’s leaders can reach agreement and get things back on a more even keel soon.”




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


 
 

 
square

Luke Lightning strikes at Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 61st Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., taxis to the runway for a training exercise at Nellis AFB, Nev., April 15. Maintaine...
 
 

CSAF discusses Air Force’s need to reset

WASHINGTON — The Air Force Association hosted its monthly Air Force breakfast with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III in Arlington, Virginia April 2. During his speech, Welsh addressed many topics and issues in today’s Air Force, including hitting the “reset button.” “For the last couple of years what we have...
 
 

Ten seconds later, that picture still exists

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — There is a conversation many teenagers have had with their parents or friends, me included. “Hey, don’t worry! It’ll be fine; all of the pictures I send disappear after 10 seconds. That’s how Snapchat works.” While many teenagers only share their silly, cross-eyed, quadruple-chinned faces with friends, there are a...
 

 

Becoming stronger through failure

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. — Failing the Air Force physical training test was my greatest fear since joining the military. It is embarrassing to admit recently that fear came to fruition, but what I have learned through that failure has become one of my greatest strengths. After failing, I definitely felt like a weak...
 
 

‘Eye’ see you

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mikaley Towle Lisa Winkelman, 99th Aerospace Medicine Squadron optometry technician, simulates taking a vision test at the Optometry Clinic on Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., April 15. Getting an eye exam is important to ensure eye vision and pressure is good and in the normal range. For...
 
 

Nellis AFB goes green for Earth Day

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The first Earth Day occurred April 22, 1970, and was introduced by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. More than 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day in the U.S. Across the Air Force today, installations are taking aggressive strides...
 




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