Defense

March 4, 2013

AF leaders warn of sequester impacts on replacing an aging fleet

SSgt. David Salanitri
Air Force News

Two senior Air Force leaders warned last week of the impacts sequestration and a continuing resolution will have on the service’s acquisitions and programs.

Lt. Gens. Michael Moeller, the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs, and Charles Davis, the military deputy, office of assistant secretary of the Air Force acquisitions, testified to the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee Feb. 28 on Capitol Hill.

“In this fiscal crisis environment, we believe the choice to preserve readiness will drive us to make tough decisions,” Moeller said.

Some of those decisions include slowing the pace of modernization, struggling to sustain capabilities and looking to programs or force structure to make up the difference, he said.

Davis explained how these fiscal hardships have already impacted modernizing an aging fleet.

“We have significant modernization that we have to undertake now to be able to replace key items in our inventory that will reach service life,” he said.

The service’s top three modernization priorities make up approximately 15 percent of the modernization program: the new long-range bomber, the KC-46 refueling tanker and F-35 Lightning II, he said.

“If we’re going to maintain the mission you’ve given the United States Air Force, then those have to be modernized,” Davis said.

Davis also added how a reduction in budget may seem small, but adds up quickly on a squadron of aircraft in the long-term.

“If you take 10 percent out of the F-35 program, you lose a couple of airplanes this year, then you lose a couple the next year,” he said.

A committee member asked Davis how the ability to determine where the Air Force can cut their budget would impact the service.

“If that’s the case, and we’ve done this in many cases in the past, you have to take a very surgical cut,” Davis stated. But, he explained, if this is done once or twice, the capability the program was originally designed for will be compromised.

“My number one concern from a strategic planning and programming perspective is the unprecedented levels of uncertainty,” Moeller said. “We know we’re going to have must-pay bills to repair the degradation in readiness (sequestration and a continuing resolution have and will cause).”

Making his closing remarks to the committee, Moeller summed up the current fiscal situation by quoting a civilian coworker.

He said, “This future budget planning is like painting a color-by-numbers picture, while blindfolded, in the back of a C-130 while flying through a thunderstorm.”




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


 
 

 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Maeson L. Elleman

Hanscom working to provide 5th, 4th gen aircraft common tactical picture

Air Force photograph by SrA. Maeson L. Elleman A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle taxis for takeoff on Kadena Air Base, Japan, Sept. 16, 2014. The Space, Aerial and Nuclear Networks Division at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is worki...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Staci Miller

Australian F-35 lands at new home

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Staci Miller The first Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II jet arrives at Luke Air Force Bas, Ariz., Dec. 18, 2014. The jet’s arrival marks the first international partner F-35 to a...
 




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>