Defense

February 20, 2013

ACC continues planning for sequestration impacts

Air Combat Command officials continue to take actions to slow, and within the near-term dramatically restrict, fiscal 2013 spending in light of pending sequestration and a projected $1.8 billion shortfall in overseas contingency funding.

“We are prioritizing our efforts to sustain force structure and preserve combat capability for the joint force,” said Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of ACC.

Hostage previously directed ACC units to reduce discretionary spending to the maximum extent possible without affecting mission readiness. Spending for temporary duties, equipment purchases and facility sustainment, restoration and modernization programs are being aggressively scrutinized or deferred in order to minimize spending.

ACC units are currently executing the wing flying-hour program to maintain combat readiness, and will adjust as sequestration-driven specifics are available. Depending on the outcome of budget decisions, ACC may have to reduce flying operations for two-thirds of squadrons across the command by mid to late May. This includes fighters, non-nuclear bombers, command-and-control, personnel recovery, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

“Remaining as mission-ready as possible is our imperative, and priority for flying hours will go to units that are deployed or preparing to deploy and to formal training units that provide fully qualified aircrews,” said Hostage.

If flying hours are drastically cut, aircrews will make heavy use of simulators and academic training to maintain basic skills, and maintainers will complete upgrade training and scheduled maintenance to the extent possible given availability of spare parts. While each weapon system is different, on average fighter pilots lose their currency to fly combat missions after 120 days of non-flying. It takes approximately 90 days to conduct training to return a fighter pilot to CMR status, and recovering from lost currencies would take approximately 6 to 12 months.

The two largest aircraft test and training ranges in the United States will also be affected under sequestration. The Nevada Test and Training Range, and the Utah TTR may close in early summer, which would further affect combat training and test-and-evaluation evaluation activities. ACC’s aerial demonstration teams, which are used for recruiting and public awareness of the Air Force mission, are continuing their certification procedures for the 2013 season, but officials realize changes may be required under sequestration. Adjustments to the schedules will be announced as appropriate.

On Feb. 12, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III told the Senate Armed Services Committee that unprecedented budget factors have placed the nation’s defense strategy in jeopardy.

“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 Welsh. “If it occurs, it will significantly undermine your Air Force’s readiness and responsiveness today.”

Sequestration will have an effect through the remainder of fiscal year 2013 unless rescinded. The impact on ACC operations beyond fiscal 2013 will be determined when the fiscal year 2014 budget becomes more clearly defined.

 




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


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 
 

SMC stands up new Advanced Systems, Development Directorate

While space officially begins at 62 miles above the Earth’s surface, for the men and women of the Air Force space begins near sea level at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base,Calif. SMC is where innovative ideas are matured into space systems that deliver operational capabilities to U.S. warfighters in...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine

SEWIP block upgrade program evaluated for LCS

Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Helen Hernandez monitors an SLQ-32 radar aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is deplo...
 




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>