Air Force

April 26, 2013

Sequestration will significantly affect force readiness

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The four branches of the military delivered another warning to Congress April 18 that a prolonged budget sequester will significantly affect military readiness, and could leave the services unable to carry out defense strategy.

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer told lawmakers sequestration has forced the cancellation of flying hours, the stand-down of nine fighter squadrons and three bomber squadrons — all of which is dealing a direct blow to Air Force readiness.

“The cornerstone of our Airmen’s ability to provide airpower for the nation at a moment’s notice anywhere in the world is their readiness,” Spencer said. “Allowing the Air Force to slip to a lower state of readiness … will negate the essential strategic advantage of airpower and put the joint forces at increased risk,” he said.

He pointed out the threat to the Air Force’s current state of readiness is a two-fold problem with decades of sustained combat operations and the current fiscal situation facing the forces.

Sequestration has already forced the Air Force to induct 60 less airplanes and 35 less engines into its depots as well as cut 200,000 flying hours in the last six months of this fiscal year that led to some squadrons to stop flying.

He pointed out that the lack of depot maintenance matched by the stand-down of aircraft threatens readiness in the same way that letting an old car sit untouched in a garage would.

“At home, I have a 1972 Monte Carlo and because it’s old, I have to start that car at least once and get the transmission and everything working or it won’t run very well,” Spencer said.

Airplanes are similar in that if they sit on the ground, don’t start up, taxi and fly for a period of time, they tend not to work very well.

“If you stand down aircraft for several months, that’s a problem,” said Spencer. The other problem is, if the aircraft aren’t flying, the pilots aren’t maintaining currency and neither are the maintainers.

The other services’ vice chiefs emphasized that message repeatedly during a Senate Armed Services Committee’s readiness subcommittee hearing on the state of military readiness in light of the $41 billion spending cut the Defense Department is absorbing over the rest of the fiscal year, triggered by the budget sequester that took effect in March.

“The reality is that if sequestration continues as it is…the Army simply will not have the resources to support the current defense strategic guidance, and we risk becoming a hollow force,” Gen. John F. Campbell, Army vice chief of staff, testified.

Adm. Mark E. Ferguson III, vice chief of naval operations, said the Navy is feeling the shortfall in everything from the ability maintain readiness to the capability to respond to a world crisis.

“By the end of this fiscal year, two-thirds of our nondeployed ships and aviation squadrons will be less than fully capable and not certified for major combat operations,” he said, adding that deployments have been delayed or cancelled and that in some cases, ship tours have been prolonged.

Gen. John M. Paxton Jr., assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, warned the senators that the effects of the budget sequester will be “serious, prolonged and difficult to quickly reverse or repair,” calling the impact on training and readiness an issue that keeps him awake at night.

“There’s a lot of unease and unrest and potential danger elsewhere around the world that you expect your soldiers, your sailors, your airmen, your Marines to be ready for,” he said. “I worry less about a hollow force than I do about particularly broken units you won’t see until it’s in the rear view mirror.”

Echoing a view the other service representatives expressed, Campbell said if the prolonged budget uncertainty continues, a point may come when the nation’s leaders are unable to ask any more of the military.

“The problem we have is we never say no,” he said. “And at some point, we’re going to have to tell you, ‘We can’t do that. We can’t continue to do more with less, or else we’re going to put [service members’] lives at risk.”

Editor’s note: Compiled from American Forces Press Service and Air Force Public Affairs reports.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders

57th OSS integrates new ATC radar system

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders Staff Sgt. Christopher Beier, 57th Wing Air Traffic Controller, monitors radar activity on the newly installed Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System, or STARS, Oct. 15 a...
 
 

Future of AF helicopter fleets discussed at conference

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — Air Force Global Strike Command’s Helicopter Operations Division hosted the Worldwide Helicopter Conference here Oct. 7-9, to discuss the current and future state of the Air Force’s helicopter fleets. The conference promoted cross talk among the Air Force’s helicopter forces, which are principally operated by Air Combat Command, Pacific...
 
 

Online vigilance helps reduce risk

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. — I received at least five emails last week warning me to secure my social media settings and be aware of what I post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Why? Do you not like to see what I had for dinner last night? Too many #selfies? Are photos of my dog eating...
 

 

Nurturing relationships and a culture of caring

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. — When life gets challenging, stressors can build and conflicts can escalate, sometimes leading to abuse. Preventing domestic abuse is fundamental to basic relationship maintenance. Partners in healthy relationships work together every day to nurture their relationship, taking care to address issues and concerns when they occur. Healthy relationships should...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Open House to celebrate Nellis’ legacy of liberty

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika Gary Nellis, son of the late 1st Lt. William Harrell Nellis, Nellis Air Force Base’s namesake, stands in front of memorabilia he has of his father at his home in Henderson, Nev....
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Shad Eidson

799th SFS turns up heat, wins Fire Muster traveling trophy

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Shad Eidson Members of the 432nd Wing Staff team fill a drum to complete the ‘Bucket Brigade’ final event during a fire muster challenge at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., Oct. 10. The 4th An...
 




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