Defense

May 10, 2012

DOD budget request reflects tough choices

by Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service
DOD photograph by Glenn Fawcett
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conduct a press conference in the Pentagon press briefing room, May 10, 2012.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, conduct a press conference in the Pentagon press briefing room, May 10, 2012.

As Congress marks up the military budget, the nation’s defense leaders said today they stand ready to work with lawmakers to maintain the balance they built into their budget proposal.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke strongly on defense budget issues during a Pentagon press conference.

“We do not have to choose between national security and fiscal security, but that does not mean that we do not have to make tough choices,” the secretary said. “We do. And defense should not be exempt from doing its share to reduce the deficit.”

The House Armed Services Committee this week has debated aspects of the proposed defense budget, including base realignment and closure and possible missile defense sites.

Congress passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, Panetta noted, which requires a reduction of defense spending of $487 billion over the next 10 years.

To meet those cuts, department senior leaders worked with President Barack Obama to craft a strategy outlining defense priorities, the secretary said. They then built a spending plan that both supports that strategy and meets the Budget control Act’s spending caps, he added.

“My concern is that if Congress now tries to reverse many of the tough decisions that we reached by adding several billion dollars to the president’s budget request, then they risk not only potential gridlock … [but] they could force the kind of trade-offs that could jeopardize our national defense,” Panetta said.

The secretary described some of those trade-offs. If DOD leaders can’t retire aging ships and aircraft, he said, they will have to realize savings in areas such as modernization investment.

If the department can’t reduce force structure after 2014, “Congress would be forcing us to reduce readiness. We would have to cut training [and] we’d have to cut equipment,” Panetta added.

And if Congress limits the Pentagon’s ability to put military health care costs on what the secretary called a sustainable track, lawmakers would limit defense options to invest in “new technologies that we believe are critical to the force we need for the future,” he said.

Dempsey said he appreciates the difficulties lawmakers must contend with in managing military spending as U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan continues, and complex security challenges lie ahead.

The chairman said he and Panetta, along with the service chiefs and combatant commanders, faced the same issues when they prepared their budget request.

DOD’s spending plan “is a responsible investment in our nation’s security,” Dempsey said.

The challenge in finalizing defense funding is to “make sure our armed forces have what they need – and no more than we need – to keep America immune from coercion,” the chairman said.

DOD’s budget request reflects a carefully devised set of choices to sustain the joint force, Dempsey said.

Those choices, he added, reflect “the right mix among force structure, modernization, readiness, pay and benefits. Different choices will produce a different balance.”

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 

 
Coast Guard photograph

Navy demonstrates unmanned helicopter operations aboard Coast Guard cutter

http://static.dvidshub.net/media/video/1412/DOD_102145893/DOD_102145893-512×288-442k.mp4 Coast Guard photograph An MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS is tested off the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf near Los Angeles, Dec. 5 2014. The Coast...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




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>