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.


 
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 
 
LM-C130

U.S. Air Force receives additional MC-130J Commando II

MARIETTA, Ga., Aug. 27, 2015 – A crew from the U.S. Air Force Aug. 27 ferried a new MC-130J Commando II aircraft assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command to Cannon Air Force Base, N.., from the Lockheed Martin facilit...
 

 
af-uav4

Arming the RPAs

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Joseph Swafford A1C Matthew Lopez (center), 62nd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron munitions systems technician, builds a GPS-guided GBU-49 bomb at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 15, 2015...
 
 
dragon-lady1

Local efforts help keep Dragon Lady flying at 60

Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Bobby Cummings A U-2 Dragon Lady soars above the flightline at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014. The low-altitude handling characteristics of the aircraft and bicycle-type lan...
 
 
Air Force photograph

U.S. Navy awards production contract for additional P-8A aircraft, first RAAF planes

Air Force photograph A P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft parked on the tarmac during a BALTOPS 2015 mission on the flightline of Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, June 9, 2015. The U.S. Navy awarded a nearl...
 




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>