Defense

February 8, 2013

Secretary discusses 2014 defense budget request

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta revealed that the proposed military pay raise for 2014 is 1 percent, and that the department is proceeding in a logical, careful way to do its part to cut the deficit and preserve military capabilities.

Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at the Pentagon during a reporters roundtable about what the 2014 budget proposal would look like and what the threat of budget uncertainty – including the looming threat of sequester – would mean to it.

In a normal year, defense officials would be discussing the fiscal 2014 DOD budget request now. But this year is far from normal, and officials do not expect the budget to even go to Congress until late in March.

The budget the secretary outlined includes the $487 billion in cuts that were proposed in 2011. The budget also is based on the defense strategy unveiled in January 2012. It ìreally does set a framework for what the force of the 21st century should look like, Panetta said.

Whatís most important is the budget proposal would ìprotect the strongest military on Earth, he said.

The fiscal year 2014 budget proposal also requests a military pay raise of 1 percent.

No one is getting a pay cut, but we will provide a pay raise thatís smaller than weíve seen in past years in order to achieve some savings by virtue of what we confront in the compensation area,î Panetta said.

The DOD will ask for money for new investment in transition assistance, sexual assault prevention, suicide prevention, and family programs to boost support for the all-volunteer force.

The department needs to get personnel costs under control, Panetta said. These accounts have grown 80 percent since 2003, and if steps are not taken now it would force the department to cut military end strength and sacrifice readiness.

Congress has approved a DOD request for a commission to look at military retirement, the secretary said.

ìWe will stress that retirement benefits would be grandfathered,î Panetta said, noting the department will continue to look for savings in the militaryís TRICARE health program.

The secretary stressed that the budget would find savings in overhead and efficiencies.

ìWe have identified $30 billion in new initiatives over the next five years to eliminate overhead and duplication,î he said. The department will consolidate capabilities and look to new technologies for more savings.

In the budget, the secretary proposes another round of base closures and realignments. ìWe will have to because Ö you canít have a huge infrastructure supporting a reduced force,î he said.

The budget continues the glide path for reductions in land, naval and air forces detailed last year. Ultimately, the Army will go down to 490,000 active duty soldiers and the Marine Corps to 182,000 troops.

The department will propose some additional cuts to the Air Force and ìwe will resubmit some of our proposed cuts to the Navy,î Panetta said. These are proposals that Congress rejected last year.

The department will continue to push for growth in special operations capability and cyber warfare experts.

The department must continue to modernize the force and the budget continues the push for tactical fighters, aerial refueling capabilities, ballistic-missile subs and bombers, Panetta said. New capabilities include sea-based unmanned aerial vehicles, cyber tools and space systems.

This is the bare bones of the fiscal year 2014 budget, but it would all go out the window if sequestration occurs on March 1.

DOD is taking steps to confront sequestration because at the spend rate weíre on now if we continue it will be that much more of a blow,î Panetta said. The department has ordered hiring freezes, cutting back on maintenance and in other areas.

And, budget uncertainty – including a continuing resolution and the looming potential for across-the-board sequestration cuts – has caused DOD to delay the deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman and the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg to the U.S. Central Command area of operations.
If sequester happens, DOD is looking at furloughs for as many as 800,000 civilian employees. This would mean a 20-percent pay cut.

ìItís a lousy, lousy way to treat people frankly,î the secretary said.

Sequestration cuts Army training, Air Force and Navy flight hours, and shrinks ship operations.

These are real consequences and our fear is that it really is going to cause a readiness crisis for the military to respond to the crises that we still have to confront in the world, Panetta said.




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


 
 

 

Headlines September 29, 2014

News: U.S. military limits warplanes used for Islamic State bombings - The U.S. is relying mostly on warplanes already positioned in the region for its air war against the Islamic State, as opposed to dispatching a major buildup of aerial forces that happened in previous campaigns.   Business: At DOD, it’s use-it-or-lose-it season - As fiscal 2014...
 
 

News Briefs September 29, 2014

Navy awards ship design grant to UNO The University of New Orleans has received a $210,000 grant from the Navy s Office of Naval Research to test information gathering and analysis techniques intended to improve warship design. The goal for warship designers is to produce a vessel that can be repurposed numerous times throughout its...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

TACP-M ties it all together

Air National Guard photograph by SSgt. Lealan Buehrer Tactical air control party specialists with the 169th Air Support Operations Squadron survey an enemy-controlled landing zone before calling in close-air support Aug. 14, 20...
 

 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Nellis aggressor squadron inactivated

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler SSgt. Justin White signals to Maj. Sam Joplin to begin taxiing a 65th Aggressor Squadron F-15 Eagle to the runway Sept. 18, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base Nev. The roles and responsib...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger

82nd Airborne helps commemorate 70th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden

Army photograph by SSgt. Mary S. Katzenberger A paratrooper assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, reflects near the grave of a British paratrooper at the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Sept. 14, 2014, in the Netherlands. The...
 
 

Raytheon awarded $251 million Tomahawk missile contract

The U.S. Navy has awarded Raytheon a $251 million contract to procure Tomahawk Block IV tactical cruise missiles for fiscal year 2014 with an option for 2015. The contract calls for Raytheon to build and deliver Tomahawk Block IV cruise missiles to the U.S. Navy and U.K. Royal Navy. Raytheon will also conduct flight tests...
 




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>