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 July 7, 2015

News: F-35 loses dogfight to fighter jet from 1980s – A new report alleges that an F-35A was defeated by the very aircraft it is meant to replace.   Business: South Korea selects Airbus for $1.33 billion tanker contract – European aerospace giant Airbus won a $1.33 billion deal June 30 to supply air refueling...
 
 
U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph

Boeing, Embraer to collaborate on ecoDemonstrator technology tests

U.S. Chamber of Commerce photograph Frederico Curado, president & CEO of Embraer, and Marc Allen, president of Boeing International, at the Brazil-U.S. Business Summit in Washington, D.C. The event occurred during an offici...
 
 
Untitled-2

Tactical reconnaissance vehicle project eyes hoverbike for defense

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory, or ARL, has been exploring the tactical reconnaissance vehicle, or TRV, concept for nearly nine months and is evaluating the hoverbike technology as a way to get Soldiers away from ground thre...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton

Upgraded AWACS platform tested at Northern Edge

Air Force photograph by SSgt. William Banton Maintenance crew members prepare an E-3G Sentry (AWACS) for takeoff during exercise Northern Edge June 25, 2015. Roughly 6,000 airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen ...
 
 
LM-Legion

Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod™ takes to skies

Lockheed Martin photograph by Randy Crites Lockheed Martin’s Legion Pod recently completed its first flight test, successfully tracking multiple airborne targets while flying on an F-16 in Fort Worth, Texas. Legion Pod was in...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson

First Marine graduates Air Force’s F-35 intelligence course

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Marleah Robertson Marine Corps 1st Lt. Samuel Winsted, an F-35B Lightning II intelligence officer, provides a mock intelligence briefing to two instructors during the F-35 Intelligence Formal Train...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>