Defense

February 25, 2013

Air Force secretary discusses sequestration impacts at AFA

Tags:
SSgt. David Salanitri
Orlando, Fla.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley delivers his keynote speech on the State of the Air Force during the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium & Technology Exhibition in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 22, 2013. In his remarks, Donley talked about the service’s need to balance the size of its force with readiness and modernization needs in the face of sequestration.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley addressed more than 500 men and women on the final day of the Air Force Association’s 29th Air Warfare Symposium & Technology Exposition Feb. 22 in Orlando, Fla.

During his address, Donley spoke about several issues that are on the Air Force’s radar, including budget and planning challenges, and of particular interest, the looming sequestration.

“During over three decades now in Washington, I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed a budget process that is as dysfunctional as is the one we’re experiencing today,” Donley said.

Although the service has protected people and readiness to date, the impact of sequestration will ultimately force the Air Force to take actions that will impact readiness and its civilian workforce the secretary said. He also discussed the impact sequestration will have on airmen’s professional development, due to non-mission essential travel being frozen.

The secretary said sequestration could “delay the promotions of Airmen who rely on that training as part of their preparation for higher rank. It could lead to a loss of certification for Airmen in technical specialties that require regular training such as firefighters or explosive ordnance disposal specialists.”

Donley also voiced his concern for the morale of the service’s civilian force should a furlough take place.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta notified Congress on Feb. 20 that the Department of Defense civilian workforce could face potential furloughs in late April. This could impact up to 180,000 civilian Airmen for up to 22 working days, resulting in a loss of 31.5 million man hours of productivity.

“We’re deeply concerned for our civilian airmen and the mission,” Donley said. “We’ll keep working to prevent these actions, which would decimate morale and break faith with their service to our Air Force.”

Among other significant challenges that the service will face under sequestration is the impact to flying readiness.

“Reduction of about 200,000 flying hours would impact our theater security packages,” Donley said. “Those combat units not expected to deploy, will only continue to fly until depletion of their flying hours funds, which could occur as early as mid-May.”

The secretary also spoke about the impacts to the defense industry, many members of which were widely represented in the audience at the symposium.

Impacts to the defense industrial base will grow in magnitude as reductions in resources ripple through the network of companies that support Air Force prime contractors and sub-contractors, according to Donley.

“We’re concerned about the capacity of smaller or more specialized companies to successfully negotiate this challenging environment,” he said, emphasizing the importance of their contributions to the Air Force. “What many of you do in industry is important to us. It makes a direct contribution to our capabilities.”

In addition to the impacts of sequestration, Donley discussed the Total Force Task Force, a group of active-duty, Reserve and Air National Guard members that he and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III assembled to discuss the right mix of Total Force capabilities for the service.

“The results of this task force will inform our strategic planning and programing for fiscal 2015 and beyond, and will also serve as a resource to the congressionally-directed national commission on the structure of the Air Force that will be examining total-force issues later this year,” he said.

Despite the current challenges facing the Department, Donley made one thing clear — America’s Airmen are ready for any challenge.

“We came into this situation as the world’s finest Air Force, it is our intention to come out of this as the world’s finest Air Force, and we will,”
Donley said. “If we back them, Airmen will back our Air Force, and they will help us get through these challenging times.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines August 31, 2015

News: Pilot killed in crash was helping wounded veterans – A pilot who died in a small plane crash in the desert northeast of Los Angeles was giving free glider rides to wounded military veterans. Turkey carries out first air strikes as part of anti-Isis U.S. coalition – Turkish fighter jets have carried out their first air...
 
 

News Briefs August 31, 2015

Pakistan officials: U.S. envoy discusses Afghan peace efforts Pakistani officials say visiting U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice has discussed efforts to revive Afghan peace talks. Rice met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif Aug. 30. Two Pakistani officials say they discussed efforts to revive talks between the Afghan government...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

F-22 inaugural deployment to Europe

Courtesy photograph A pair of F-22 Raptors fly near the coastline of Panama City Beach, Fla. Four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III, and approximately 60 airmen arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allie...
 

 
ILS photograph

Boeing-built satellite will create first global high-speed broadband network

ILS photograph The Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite launched Aug. 28 aboard a International Launch Services Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. EL SEGUNDO, Calif.–When the third Boeing-built [NYSE: BA] Inmarsat-5 sat...
 
 

Civil Air Patrol joins total force ‘Airmen’

When conducting missions for the Air Force as the official Air Force auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol is now included in the Air Force’s definition of the total force. CAP has provided 74 years of support to emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. In August 2015, the Air Force updated Doctrine Volume 2, “Leadership,”...
 
 
DOD photograph by Air Force MSgt. Adrian Cadiz

Carter announces manufacturing initiative to aid war fighters

DOD photograph by Air Force MSgt. Adrian Cadiz Defense Secretary Ash Carter announces the creation of a National Manufacturing Innovation Institute to produce hybrid electronics during a speech at the National Full Scale Aerody...
 




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>