In the news...

January 28, 2013

Carter: Sequestration planning requires balance

Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

Planning for sequestration is the practical thing to do and doesnít indicate a lack of confidence in Congress, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Jan. 27 in an interview on ìThis Week in Defense News with Vago Muradian.

Though Congress voted earlier this month to delay until March 2 the implementation of about $500 billion in across-the-board defense spending cuts over 10 years, Carter explained, the threat still looms and the Pentagon must be ready.

Complicating matters, is that the Defense Department – as is all of the federal government – is still operating under a continuing resolution, ìwhich means we are stuck with the budget of last year, category by category,î he added. The continuing resolution is set to expire March 27, unless Congress approves a new appropriations act for fiscal 2013.

Preparing for this confluence of events requires a delicate balance between acting too early and planning too late, Carter said.

The reason not to make adjustments too early is these are not desirable things to do,î he said. ìThey’re not good for defense, so you don’t want to do them until you have to.

For example, Carter said, the Defense Department normally hires about 1,000 people each week to maintain a stable number of personnel. However, he continued, ìif I worry that I’m going to run short of money later in the fiscal year, Iíd better stop hiring.

On Jan. 10, Carter issued a memo authorizing defense components to implement measures that will mitigate the effects of fiscal uncertainty, including hiring freezes, termination of temporary employees and cancelling certain equipment maintenance contracts.

Now that’s not a good thing,î Carter said. ìThat’s jobs – 44 percent of the people we hire are veterans. And we care about hiring veterans. And of course, most importantly, we care about getting the work done.

When he talks about DOD civilians, Carter said, he’s not talking about bureaucrats in Washington. ìThese are shipyard workers – these are people who are doing important things, he added.

The memo requires defense components to submit their plans to Carterís office, he said, to ensure their efforts are balanced and to provide components with an opportunity to learn from each otherís approaches. Meanwhile, he said, the department is taking prudent steps now in case the continuing resolution is extended for the whole year or the sequestration cuts take effect.

ìWhat we’re trying to do is take steps that are reversible,î he explained. ìThey’re harmful if they last the whole year. But if I take them now, I’ll be better off later in the year.

For now, he said, these are steps that can be quickly undone.

ìLater in the year, I’m going to have to do things that are irreversible – that do irreversible harm,î Carter said, including furloughing federal employees and reducing military training.

Obviously, I don’t want to do that. If it goes on long enough, we will do damage to readiness that will be difficult and take years to reverse,î he said.
Preparations have been ongoing for some time, Carter said.

We’ve been doing that quietly,î he said, ìbecause we haven’t wanted to act as though sequestration or any of these things was either inevitable or, certainly, something that we could manage with ease. These are damaging, destructive things to do.




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 21, 2014

News: IDF releases Iron Dome interception rate - Israel’s Iron Dome system has successfully intercepted 86 percent of the Palestinian rockets that it has engaged during Operation ‘Protective Edge’, according to the Israel Defense Forces.   Business: The turnaround of France’s defense giant Thales - Within seconds of meeting Jean-Bernard Levy it becomes apparent that h...
 
 

News Briefs July 21, 2014

Corruption investigated in Kansas National Guard The Kansas Adjutant General’s office says federal authorities are investigating possible corruption involving outside medical companies’ contracts with the Kansas Army National Guard. Sharon Watson, spokeswoman for the adjutant general’s office, confirmed the investigation Friday to The Lawrence Journal-World but declined to rel...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

B61 undergoes testing in AEDC wind tunnel

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend Arnold Engineering Development Complex engineers recently joined researchers with Sandia National Laboratories to perform a wind tunnel test on a full-scale mock-up B61. Pictured with the...
 

 
Army photograph by Charles Kennedy

New CT scanner finds diverse, important uses for researchers

Army photograph by Charles Kennedy Turning a now-standard tool for medical diagnostics and therapeutics to a host of new applications, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory’s Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate rece...
 
 

Ingalls Shipbuilding awarded $23.5 million LHA 8 affordability contract

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division has been awarded an affordability design contract for $23.5 million for early industry involvement to reduce the construction and life-cycle cost for the amphibious assault ship LHA 8. “Ingalls Shipbuilding has been constructing large-deck amphibious ships for nearly 50 years, and this contract will build on our company...
 
 
Marine Corps photograph

DOD identifies missing World War II Marine

Marine Corps photograph Marines wounded during the landing on Tarawa in November 1943 are towed out on rubber boats to larger vessels that will take them to base hospitals. The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office...
 




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>