Defense

February 5, 2013

DOD leaders: Budget deadlock could spark readiness crisis

Issuing perhaps their strongest warnings yet, Pentagon leaders Feb. 3 said the budget impasse threatens to create a military readiness crisis.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined in interviews, televised yesterday, with CNN’s Candy Crowley on “State of the Union” and NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”

The budget provision known as “sequester,” which is set to take effect March 1 unless Congress acts, would trigger a half-trillion dollars in defense spending cuts over 10 years, beyond major spending cuts already in place over that period. Defense Department staffs are preparing for the worst, Panetta said.

“If sequester goes into effect, and we have to do the kind of cuts that will go right at readiness, right at maintenance, right at training, we are going to weaken the United States and make it much more difficult for us to respond to the crises in the world,” Panetta said.

“We’ve got to plan for that possibility, … but I have to tell you, it is irresponsible for [sequester] to happen,” the secretary added. “I mean, why– why in God’s name – would members of Congress elected by the American people take a step that would badly damage our national defense, but more importantly, undermine the support for our men and women in uniform? Why would you do that?”

Dempsey noted sequester is only part of the vise closing around DOD. Under the continuing resolution that sets government spending at previous levels when an appropriations bill isn’t passed, Pentagon spending for the fiscal year already is out of balance, he said.

“The combined effects of sequester and the continuing resolution creates a magnitude of cut in the last half of the year,” Dempsey explained. “We have to absorb $52 billion when you count the effects of both sequestration and the continuing resolution in the last half of the year.”

Panetta and Dempsey both have stated repeatedly that defense spending priorities always will be supporting troops in combat and training those next to deploy. The chairman yesterday detailed what civilian employees can expect if sequester happens and they are furloughed.

“They will lose two days per pay period, 20 percent less pay for the rest of the year,” he said.

Dempsey noted that despite public perception, less than a quarter of defense civilian employees work in the Washington area.

“There’s this notion that [civilian furloughs are] probably OK, because they are just a bunch of white-collar bureaucrats,” he said.

But 86 percent of DOD’s civilian employees “live outside of Washington, D.C., are in our schools, in our clinics, in our motor pools, in our depots, in our factories,” Dempsey added. “This will affect the entire country, and it will undermine our readiness for the next several years.”

 




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


 
 

 
af-spacex

Air Force certifies SpaceX for national security space missions

Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program executive officer for space, has announced the certification of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s Falco...
 
 
Army photograph

Army’s mid-tier radio advances battlefield network

Army photograph The mid-tier networking vehicular radio, or MNVR, is being tested extensively, including a limited user test, which was conducted this month at Network Integration Evaluation 15.2. This soldier is operating the ...
 
 
DARPA photograph

Human-robot teams compete June 5 at DARPA finals

DARPA photograph Team KAIST, from Daejeon, South Korea, and its robot DRC-HUBO negotiate mock rubble at a test site March 6, 2015. DARPA photo   In eight days, 25 human-robot teams will compete on the rubble-strewn field of a...
 

 
af-QF4

QF-4 aerial target program concludes

5/26/2015†-†One of the 82nd Aerial Target Squadronís QF-4s sits on the drone runway prior to takeoff May 12 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. This unmanned QF-4 was used as a full-scale target and shot down by a pilot from t...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




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>