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 November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s futureĀ - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




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>