Defense

January 18, 2013

Morin talks sequestration, near-term budget actions

The acting under secretary of the Air Force described how the nation’s fiscal challenges are affecting the service to a group of civic and industry leaders in Arlington, Va., Jan. 15.

Dr. Jamie Morin spoke to members of industry, the Air Force, the Air Force Association and media as part of AFA’s monthly breakfast program that provides a venue for senior Air Force and Department of Defense leaders to communicate directly with the public and the press.

Despite the encouraging progress made by Congress by enacting the Defense Authorization Bill and delaying the spending cuts that would have been put in place by the budget control act, Morin said, “there’s a lot more work to be done.”

Air Force officials are bracing for the potential combined impact of operating under a continuing resolution and the looming possibility of sequestration.

“The uncertainty associated with this threat makes it even harder for the institutions of defense,” Morin said. “It greatly complicates resource planning at a time when we need to squeeze the maximum amount of combat capability out of each tax dollar that is entrusted to us.”

Morin and Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer issued guidance to all major commands Jan. 14, outlining near-term actions to reduce spending rates and minimize budget execution risks.

“We put restrictions in place of civilian hiring; we directed curtailment of non-readiness and non-mission critical flight operations and travel; we also said defer, curtail and reduce any non-essential purchases,” said Morin.

“Similarly, we said we’re willing to accept a bit of pause in our facility sustainment, renovations modernization and we should focus resources only on emergency work.”

At a glance, these actions may seem substantial, but Morin emphasized that sequestration would be much harsher.

“The actions that we’ve directed so far, only take a small step towards sequestration reductions,” said Morin. “This is in no way, shape or form implementing a sequestration reduction. If sequestration is triggered and we remain under a continuing resolution for a year, the impacts are blunt, the impacts are heavy, and they are very serious.”

In light of the unknown, Morin stressed the importance of leaders working together and sticking to the defense strategy.

“The tighter the resource environment, the more critical that the Nation and the defense establishment align closer to the new strategic guidance,” he said. “Uncertainty does not give us a pass on our need to do good strategy and our need to make good resource choices in the near term, medium term and the long term.”

Though Morin said he believes the strategy aligns well with U.S. security and economic interests, as well as the global environment, there are a host of implications that come from the strategy – to include a balanced force structure, the need to improve readiness levels and a requirement to modernize the force.

“These are principles that Air Force leaders use to guide budget decisions in 2013; principles that we intend to stick by in 2014, and the future,” Morin said, highlighting the importance of preserving the Air Force’s distinctive capabilities. “We believe the current budget is right-sized to provide those goals and to meet the requirements, but it involves making tough choices.”

One of those choices was to trade size for quality, he said, adding that throughout the budget planning process leaders will remain focused on preserving key military advantage.

“We are facing a complicated, uncertain fiscal environment. There will be pressure to choose between fiscal responsibility and a strong national defense — that is, in my mind at least, a false choice,” Morin said. “We can and should recognize that the long-term health of the U.S. economy, the U.S. military and our position in the world depends on us being good stewards in defense and getting more combat capability out of each dollar.”

 




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


 
 

 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 
 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 

 

Air Force places 18 A-10 aircraft into ‘Backup Status’

The Air Force, with congressional authorization, will convert 18 primary combat-coded A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft from active units and place them into Backup-Aircraft Inventory status with the possibility to convert another 18 at a later date in fiscal year 2015. The secretary of Defense has authorized the Air Force to place up to a total...
 
 

AFRL shape-changing materials make form a function

Air Force Research Laboratory research is shaping the future of aerospace. Through research into soft materials called liquid crystal elastomers, AFRL scientists have developed a method to locally program the mechanical response in polymer sheets without the use of actuators and traditional mechanical parts. This research (sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research)...
 
 
Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph

Air Force Research Labís handheld imaging tool expands aircraft inspection capability

Sensor Concepts Inc. photograph An operator demonstrates the portability of the handheld imaging tool. The technology provides maintainers the ability to evaluate aircraft in the field to ensure mission-readiness. When pilots c...
 




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>