Air Force

September 20, 2013

Acting Air Force secretary describes budget choices

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Air Force may have to “cut vertically” in fiscal 2014 to achieve the savings needed under sequestration, the service’s acting secretary said here today. 

Everything is on the table, Eric Fanning said in a media roundtable at the Air Force Association’s annual meeting.

He would not confirm reports that the Air Force is looking at eliminating the A-10 Thunderbolt II air-to-ground fighter and the KC-10 Extender refueling tanker, but said officials are “looking most closely at single-mission fleets.”

Cuts to the budget in fiscal 2014 mean no ramp for the services – they will not enter these spending cuts gradually, the acting secretary said.

“If we go into fiscal 2014 with sequestration still in effect, you need to achieve those savings that quickly,” he said. “You have to look at vertical cuts.”

The Air Force cannot save money out of installations, because Congress will not support another round of base realignments and closures, Fanning said. And even personnel cuts wouldn’t provide immediate relief, he added.

“You can’t get money out of people fast enough – it takes about a year to get savings out of personnel,” he said.

Fencing off priority programs puts a lot of pressure on the wedge of the budget pie that’s left, Fanning said.

“You can see what some of the programs are we might be after, but you can’t get savings of the magnitude necessary by reducing all your fleets,” he said. “You have to take out some of the fleets entirely in order to get the whole tail that would come with it.”

The fiscal 2015 budget is in turmoil. The Air Force – along with all of DOD – is formulating two separate budgets: one with a sequestration topline and one based on the president’s budget request.

“We are constantly balancing modernization versus recapitalization – near-term risk vs. far-term risk,” Fanning said.

All Air Force officials fully realize there are near-term commitments that are imperative.

“We are still at war,” Fanning said. “We are still required to go when contingencies arise. There is no greater commitment we have than to support the men and women being sent into harm’s way now.”
But manning and equipping the force of the future also is important, Fanning said. In a speech this morning, he said the Air Force needs to ask the right questions to identify the game-changers of the future.

No one really knows what technologies or capabilities will change warfare in the future, he said, but the Air Force must “keep looking for it and investing in it so you are adaptable and agile and better positioned to adjust to whatever that is ahead of your adversary. If you are not asking the question, you are not focused in the right direction.”

Over the past four years, the Air Force has been doing not only an annual budget, but also multiple budgets, conducting efficiency drills and “driving all of our thinking and processes into this ever-tightening ‘do loop’ that takes the eye of people off of over-the-horizon thinking,” Fanning said.
In a time of drawdown, officials have to set up and enforce priorities, he said.

“But you need a budget baseline to build off of those priorities and look over the horizon,” Fanning said. “If we ask the right question, the Air Force … is going to be in a dynamic place 10, 15, 20 years in the future.”




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


 
 

 

Pulse on AF force management

WASHINGTON — New eligibility criteria, application deadlines and status updates are all featured in this force management update, an ongoing effort to bring Airmen the latest, most accurate information concerning the complex and dynamic force management programs. Additional TERA, VSP windows The Air Force will open two new fiscal year 2014 temporary early retirement authority...
 
 

AF opens additional TERA, VSP windows

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — The Air Force will open two new fiscal year 2014 force management temporary early retirement authority application windows, and a new voluntary separation pay application window, Air Force Personnel Center officials said April 14. Commonly referred to as the 15-year retirement, TERA eligibility will be based on the updated...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Timothy Young

Military children receive support during hardships

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Timothy Young Tech. Sgt. Mike Hodges, 99th Medical Operations Squadron respiratory therapy technician, holds a horse while Anders Steinhiser, Lomie G. Heard Elementary School 1st grade s...
 

 

Air Force budget focuses on preserving capability, not aircraft

WASHINGTON — The debate over force structure reductions outlined in the Air Force’s fiscal year 2015 budget should be about capabilities and missions, not aircraft, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III told the Senate April 10. Testifying alongside Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James at a hearing of the...
 
 

AF Portal hosts free civilian development site

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas — Air Force civilian employees can go to the Air Force Portal for free career development tools, tips and guidance, Air Force Personnel Center officials said. The Civilian Development Resource Center, formerly the Supervisor Resource Center, now offers self-development tools for supervisory as well as non-supervisory career tracks. The site provides ro...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jason Couillard

Top AF leaders speak at Nellis AFB

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jason Couillard Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody speaks to Airmen April 7 during a town-hall style meeting at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Cody, along with Air Force Chief of...
 




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