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 March 30, 2015

News: Pentagon chief mulls easing military enlistment standards - Defense Secretary Ash Carter is considering easing some military enlistment standards as part of a broader set of initiatives to better attract and keep quality service members and civilians across the Defense Department.   Business: Lockheed pays $2 million to settle government overbilling charges - Lockheed Martin Corpor...
 
 

News Briefs March 30, 2015

Landing mishap for military chopper; two aboard unhurt Two Navy officers were unhurt after their helicopter rolled on its side while landing in the Florida Panhandle. The mishap happened the night of March 27 at a Navy landing site in Pensacola, Fla. The Pensacola News Journal reports a pilot instructor and a student were able...
 
 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht

Laser-based aircraft countermeasure provides ‘unlimited rounds’ against MANPADS

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter prepares to depart Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on Jan 7, 2012. The Apache conducts distributed operations, precision strikes against relocat...
 

 

Navy, Air Force advocate for modernizing combat aviation

Top Navy and Air Force officials today told the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2016 will support modernizing combat aviation programs. Cavy Vice Adm. Paul A. Grosklags, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisitions; Air...
 
 

Raytheon wins $46 million contract for South Korean Global Hawk ground stations

Raytheon has been awarded a contract valued at up to $45.7 million by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems for ground segments in support of four Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems recently purchased by the Republic of Korea. Under this contract, Raytheon will deliver one building-based and one mobile ground segment to locations in South Korea. Work...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo

McConnell community marks B-29 rollout

Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo A B-29 Superfortress aircraft, named Doc after its nose art, sit on the flightline March 23, 2015, in Wichita, Kan. Doc will be one of two Superfortresses in the world capable of fl...
 




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>