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.


 
 

 

Headlines April 23, 2014

News: U.S. conducts spy flights over Russia - After a tit-for-tat series of delays, the United States conducted an Open Skies Treaty intelligence flight over Russian territory April 21, a State Department official said.  Army paratroopers heading to Poland after Russian annexation of Crimea - U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland to begin a series of...
 
 

News Briefs April 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 22, 2014, at least 2,177 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The AP count is one less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 

Northrop Grumman sets new greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of 30 percent by 2020

Northrop Grumman announced April 22 its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2010 levels by 2020, as part of its commemoration of Earth Day.   “Northrop Grumman is dedicated to top performance in environmental sustainability,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president. “This new goal sets the bar significantly...
 

 

Lockheed Martin demonstrates enhanced ground control system, software for small UAV

Lockheed Martin’s Group 1 family of unmanned aircraft systems is migrating to enhanced automation capabilities using its Kestrelô “Fly Light” flight control systems and industry-leading mobile Ground Control Station software. The increased automation allows operators to focus on executing the mission, rather than flying various aircraft. Earlier this year, Lockheed MartinR...
 
 

U.S. Navy awards General Dynamics $33 million to operate, maintain military sealift ships

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics American Overseas Marine LLC a $32.7 million contract modification to operate and maintain seven large, medium-speed, roll-on / roll-off ships for the Military Sealift Command. AMSEA is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics. Under the terms of the modification, AMSEA will provide services including crewing, engineering, maintenance,...
 
 

US Navy deploys Standard Missile-3 Block IB for first time

In partnership with the Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Navy deployed the second-generation Standard Missile-3 Block IB made by Raytheon for the first time, initiating the second phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach. “The SM-3 Block IB’s completion of initial operational testing last year set the stage for a rapid deployment to theater,” said Dr....
 




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>