Defense

February 13, 2013

Sequestration will ‘undermine’ readiness

Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

Unprecedented budget factors have placed the nation’s defense strategy in jeopardy, senior Department of Defense leaders told the Senate Armed Services Committee Feb. 12.

During his opening remarks, the chief of staff of the Air Force stressed the severity of the current fiscal situation.

“Sequestration threatens to carve crucial capability from America’s Air Force, with alarming and immediate effects on people, readiness and infrastructure, and, eventually, on modernization,” said Gen. Mark A. Welsh III. “If it occurs, it will significantly undermine your Air Force’s readiness and responsiveness today.”

The common theme of the day was attempting to quantify the relationship between risk and sequestration.

“If sequestration occurs, it will severely limit our ability to implement our defense strategy,” said Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “It will put the nation at greater risk of coercion. And, it will break faith with the men and women who serve this nation in uniform.”

Unless sequestration is averted, the impacts on the Air Force include budget cuts resulting in cancelling about 200,000 flying hours this year. This includes training and non-support of combatant commander requirements like theater security packages and continuous bomber presence missions.

Welsh went on to emphasize the impacts sequestration will have on readiness.

“Roughly two-thirds of our active-duty combat Air Force units will curtail home station training, beginning in March, and will drop below acceptable readiness levels by mid-May,” said Welsh. “Most will be completely non-mission capable by July.”

Sequestration was delayed until March 1 by a bill passed in January. If implemented, it would mandate about $500 billion in across-the-board defense spending cuts over 10 years in addition to $487 billion in cuts mandated over that period by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

The Defense Department is, and will continue to be, part of the nation’s economic recovery, the chairman said, but to do so requires budget certainty.

“Finally, we need the flexibility to transfer and reprogram money to our highest priorities,” the chairman said. “Readiness loses when major portions of the budget are untouchable. Everything needs to be on the table.”

Failing to act is a choice in itself, Dempsey said, “one that will eventually require a progressive contraction of security commitments around the world and a less proactive approach to protecting our interests.”

If the budget uncertainty isn’t addressed, Dempsey said, the nation’s defense options will be reduced and risk will increase in turn. “Our military power will be less credible, because it will be less sustainable. Now, we are only a few days away from making that a reality,” he added.

“Our nation, our service members and their families expect us to do better,” the chairman said. “Most importantly, a turbulent world that relies on American leadership demands that we do better.”




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


 
 

 
Virgin Galactic photograph

NTSB concludes SpaceShipTwo flight test accident investigation

Virgin Galactic photograph WhiteKnightTwo and the first SpaceShipTwo during a captive carry test flight over the Mojave Desert. MOJAVE, Calif.–The National Transportation Safety Board has concluded the investigation of th...
 
 

Headlines July 27, 2015

News: U.S.-Turkey deal aims to create de facto ‘safe zone’ in northwest Syria¬†– Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a de facto “safe zone” along the Turkey-Syria border under the terms of a deal that is expected to significantly increase the scope and pace of the U.S.-led air war against...
 
 

News Briefs July 27, 2015

Putin OKs maritime code calling for strong Atlantic presence Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a new version of the country’s maritime doctrine that calls for maintaining a strong Russian presence in the Atlantic Ocean amid concerns about NATO expansion. The doctrine, which covers naval, merchant marine and scientific maritime issues, also adds the Antarctic...
 

 
Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten

U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria train together at Rapid Trident 2015

Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten U.S. soldiers, of the 3rd Platoon, 615th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, react as they conduct reacting to contact training as part of their situational trai...
 
 
nasa-astronaut

Astronaut Stephen Frick retires from NASA

Astronaut Stephen Frick has retired from NASA to accept a position in the private sector. Frick, who flew as both a shuttle pilot and commander, left the Agency July 13. Steve has been a great asset to the astronaut office and ...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt

Estonian, US forces receive new jump wings

Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt Pvt. Kalmer Simohov, of Parnu, a volunteer with the Estonian Defense League, receives his U.S. Army Airborne wings following the joint airborne operations exercise at a drop zone in Nurm...
 




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>