Defense

January 30, 2013

CSA warns of budgetary ‘perfect storm’

Tags:
J.D. Leipold
Army News Service

Speaking before AUSA members Jan. 24, 2013, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno told them current fiscal uncertainty could result in a total operations and maintenance shortfall of $17 billion.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said the greatest threat to America’s national security is fiscal uncertainty and potential shortfalls that could “hollow” out the force.

Odierno spoke Jan. 24 to a packed house of Association of U.S. Army members during a monthly Institute of Land Warfare breakfast meeting. He said the Joint Chiefs of Staff penned a letter to House and Senate leaders Jan. 14 voicing their concerns over future readiness of the armed forces and stating that three budget conditions are creating a “perfect storm.”

First is the possibility of a continuing resolution in fiscal year 2013 that could be extended throughout the year.

“And, for the Army, the continuing resolution will result in a shortfall of more than $6 billion in our operations and maintenance, or O and M, accounts,” he said adding, “and, it’s because we’re not able to move money around in a continuing resolution, we’re over-prescribed in one part of the budget, we’re under-prescribed in another part of the budget, so we have a $6 billion shortfall.

But that $6 billion shortfall would only be the start, he continued.

“Second, the threat of across-the-board cuts due to sequestration or additional DOD cuts remain, and again, we believe this is probably another $6 billion-plus in O and M reductions in ’13, so now we have (more than) $12 billion in reductions in fiscal year 13 that we’re facing,” he said.

“And, there’s also uncertainty with regard to overseas contingency funding,” Odierno added. “We believe we have a $4 billion shortfall in operations and maintenance in our [overseas contingency operations] accounts for [fiscal year]13, so the Army is facing (almost) $17 billion worth of shortfalls that we’re going to have to figure out how to deal with if we don’t come to some conclusions by the first of March.”

He said these budget conditions coupled with current legislation might restrict decision-making with respect to personnel and equipping, while also underfunding force readiness, making prioritization more important. Obviously, he said, units in Afghanistan or heading there and forces in Korea would continue to be properly equipped and ready, but the Army will look at whether it can continue funding the ready brigade at Fort Bragg, N.C.

If the fiscal uncertainty isn’t resolved by March 1, Odierno said it’s his guess that the Army will very quickly go to extremely low levels of readiness within six months. He added that would include canceling combat training center rotations.

“We’ll have to reduce our work in the depots which will delay the reset of our equipment coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan,” Odierno said. “We’re going to have to delay the maintenance on our current fleet, and the sad part about this is once you start these delays, it will take longer and longer and longer to catch up; so this won’t be just a 2013 readiness issue, it will be a readiness issue that will go into 2014 and 2015.

“In the past we’ve taken reductions during relative peace and stability, but in my mind as I look at the world today, there’s instability on every continent around the world and there’s incredible uncertainty on what the future may hold,” he said, citing hotbeds and potential hotbeds such as Algeria, Libya, Syria, Iran and North Korea.

“We will continue to prioritize modernization so that our current and future force is prepared for a wide range of military operations, but we’ve had to slow down our modernization efforts,” Odierno said. “At the same time our ability to modernize the force will be balanced with issues of readiness and end strength.

“Our biggest challenge is getting the right balance, and we can’t do that until we have predictability in our budget process. If we don’t have predictability, it’s impossible for us to build a balanced force of end-strength modernization readiness.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines September 3, 2015

News Carter To China: US ‘Will Fly, Sail, Operate Wherever Law Allows’ Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech billed as all about a new personnel approach for the Pentagon, laid out a clear line in the sand of the temporary islands the Chinese have been building. http://breakingdefense.com/2015/09/carter-to-china-us-will-fly-sail-operate-wherever-law-allows/ LRS-B details emerge: Major t...
 
 

News Briefs September 3, 2015

Soldier injured after parachute failed to deploy A soldier was injured during a U.S. Army Special Operations parachute training exercise in western Montana. Army officials at Fort Bragg, N.C., say 16 soldiers were conducting a free-fall parachute jump from two Blackhawk helicopters near Hamilton Aug. 31 when one soldier had an equipment malfunction and was...
 
 

Boeing, Jet2.com finalize order for 27 Next Generation 737-800s

Boeing and UK Leisure Airline Jet2.com have finalized an order for 27 Next Generation 737-800s, valued at approximately $2.6 billion at current list prices. Jet2.com currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of nearly 60 aircraft; however, this is the organization’s first direct Boeing order.† The aircraft will be used to take the company’s package holiday and...
 

 
boeing-emirates

Boeing, Emirates celebrate airline’s 150th 777 delivery

Boeing and Emirates Airline Sept. 3 celebrated the simultaneous delivery of three 777s — two 777-300ERs and one 777 Freighter — marking the entry of the 150th 777 into Emirates’ fleet. The delivery marks the first tim...
 
 

U.S. Air Force selects Chromalloy for F108 gas turbine engine module repairs

Chromalloy announced Sept. 2 that it has been selected by the U.S. Air Force to provide repairs on low pressure turbine modules for the F108 aircraft engine fleet, in a contract valued at up to $74 million. The one-year agreement was contracted by the Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma and includes four one-year options...
 
 
raytheon-colorado

Raytheon expanding in Colorado Springs

Raytheon will speed up growth of its Colorado Springs presence after signing a $700 million multi-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to support operations at NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain Complex. Under the...
 




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>