Air Force

November 1, 2013

AF leaders describe future force under sequestration

Tags:
Staff Sgt. David Salanitri
Air Force Public Affairs Agency, Operating Location – Pentagon

Lt. Gen. Michael Moeller testifies on the significant impacts of the continuing resolution and sequestration to the House of Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, Oct. 23 in Washington, D.C. Moeller is the Air Force deputy chief of strategic plans and programs.

WASHINGTON — Two senior Air Force leaders testified before Congress Oct. 23, along with their Army and Navy counterparts on the impact of the continuing resolution and sequestration on the service’s acquisition and modernization programs.

Dr. William LaPlante, the principal deputy to the secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, and Lt. Gen. Michael Moeller, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs, both testified on the significant impacts of the continuing resolution and sequestration to the House Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces.

LaPlante, along with the other acquisition chiefs, said sequestration will cost the Defense Department more than it saves. Cuts to development programs will drive up unit costs and are already delaying testing, he said.

Under the continuing resolution, the services are not permitted to change how funds are appropriated from one year to the next; leaving some accounts with excess cash while others are underfunded. In fiscal 2013, Congress authorized the transfer of some funds between accounts, but that flexibility has not been renewed for fiscal 2014.

The inflexible funding means the Air Force is likely to have to cut the number of aircraft it buys this year, LaPlante said, singling out the F-35 Lightning II program as an example. “We’ll lose somewhere between four and five airplanes in ‘14,” he said.

Since sequestration started, people have been seriously affected.  Thousands of Air Force civilians were furloughed without pay earlier in the year, and flying units stood down for a period of time, degrading readiness.

As sequestration continues to take hold, Air Force leaders said cuts need to be made, in addition to those made already.

“We had to look everywhere in order to get billions in dollars of savings,” Moeller said.

They went as far as to say the service is looking at cutting entire fleets of aircraft, and under sequestration, the service will need to reduce the force by as many as approximately 25,000 Airmen.

“If sequestration is fully implemented over the next 10 years, it will be a struggle to meet tomorrow’s challenges,” Moeller said.  “The Air Force will be forced to cut thousands of total force Airmen and hundreds of platforms.”

With assessments ranging from “sobering” to “painful,” representatives from the other service branches described the devastation being wreaked by sequestration and the continuing resolution.

Citing halted development programs, hiring freezes, and narrowing technological advantages, the acquisitions chiefs warned committee members that the ongoing budget uncertainty is putting the nation at risk.

“Maintaining current readiness and forward presence to the extent possible under sequestration comes at expense to our investment in future readiness,” said Sean Stackley, the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. “In fiscal year 2014 alone, absent congressional action or mitigating circumstances, the continuing resolution and sequestration would cause cancelled procurements of up to three major warships and 25 aircraft,”

Heidi Shyu, the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, pointed to stability’s central role in guaranteeing successful acquisitions programs.

“Our capacity to maintain expertise in science and technology, engineering, contracting, cost estimation (and) logistics are all at risk because one of the most attractive benefits to the government employee – the stability – has been undermined,” she said.

“Every major development suffers delay, or reduction, or cancellation in this budget environment where uncertainty seemingly guides every decision,” Stackley said.

As Moeller concluded his remarks, he stated Air Force leadership’s collective opinion of sequestration.

“The bottom line after sequestration, the Air Force is going to be significantly smaller, less capable, less flexible and less ready,” Moeller said.  “Most importantly, it will make it very difficult to meet the challenges we will face in the future.”

Editor’s note: Claudette Roulo of American Forces Press Service contributed to this report.




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


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey

Continued education inspires new Creech tradition

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Adawn Kelsey Master Sergeant Bryan Teeples, 15th Reconnaissance Squadron first sergeant, takes a selfie with Col. James Cluff, 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing commander, and Chief Mast...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo

F-35 and F-22 combine capabilities in operational integration training mission

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo F-22 Raptors from the 94th Fighter Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., and F-35A Lightning IIs from the 58th Fighter Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fl., fly in formation...
 
 

Our quest for zero

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Day in, and day out, we try to keep up with the hustle and bustle of the Nellis AFB mission; from the airmen basic replacing a sink facet to a colonel flying a training sortie, we all have some part in fulfilling this mission. The question is, how safe...
 

 

Airmen Powered by Innovation program launches new site

WASHINGTON — Fellow Airmen, Your enthusiasm and ingenuity continues to be our Air Force’s number one weapon system! In April we launched the Airmen Powered by Innovation program aimed at turning your ideas into real cost savings for our Air Force. Since coming online API has received and reviewed more than 2,400 ideas and that...
 
 
DoD
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler

Raptor demo team soars into sky

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE Nev. — Just as they do at many airshows across the nation, the F-22 Raptor Demonstration and Heritage Team from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, showcased the capabilities of the F-22 in the skies ...
 
 

Social well-being vital to Airman wellness

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — In order to accomplish the Air Force mission, and remain resilient to adversity, Airmen must maintain high levels of physical, mental, spiritual and social fitness. This quarter, the 99th Air Base Wing will focus on social fitness, by participating in events that focus on this Comprehensive Airmen Fitness pillar...
 




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