Defense

March 4, 2013

Secretary details results of sequestration uncertainty

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Soldier and Marine training, Air Force flying hours and Navy steaming days are being curtailed thanks to the $47 billion in cuts DOD must make before Sept. 30, 2013, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said March 1.

The secretary stressed at the start of his first press conference as Defense Secretary that the uncertainty caused by sequestration ìputs at risk our ability to effectively fulfill all of our missions.

He was joined by Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and both men said that if sequestration is allowed to continue through the end of the fiscal year, the effects will become much worse.

The department will continue to adjust to the fiscal realities, Hagel said. He and Carter had just met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Tank ñ the chiefsí secure conference room – to speak about the consequences of sequestration.

Leadership in the Pentagon [has] two serious concerns: first, the abrupt and arbitrary cuts imposed by sequester; and second, the lack of budget management flexibility that we now face under the current continuing resolution,î Hagel said.

The department has already had to cut funding for readiness, he said. ìAs sequester continues, we will be forced to assume more risk, with steps that will progressively have far-reaching effects,î the secretary said.

Starting in April, the Navy will gradually stand down at least four air wings, he said.

Effective immediately, Air Force flying hours will be cut back,î Hagel said. ìThis will have a major impact on training and readiness.

The Army will curtail training for all units except those deploying to Afghanistan, he said, noting that this means an end to training for nearly 80 percent of Army operational units.

Later this month, we intend to issue preliminary notifications to thousands of civilian employees who will be furloughed,î Hagel said. The department has about 800,000 civilian employees and the vast majority of them face losing 20 percent of their pay through the end of September.

Sequestration comes on top of $487 billion in cuts defense agreed to under the Budget Control Act.

In anticipation of sequester, in January the department began to slow spending. The aircraft carrier USS Harry S Truman did not deploy to the Persian Gulf as scheduled, and the department looked to hiring freezes and layoffs of temporary and term employees. The service chiefs announced cuts to facilities maintenance and contract delays.

If sequester continues and the continuing resolution is extended in its current form, other damaging effects will become apparent,î Hagel said. ìOur number one concern is our people – military and civilian – the millions of men and women of this department who work very hard every day to ensure America’s security.

The department needs some fiscal certainty, the secretary said, and DOD leaders will continue to work with Congress to help resolve this uncertainty. ìSpecifically, we need a balanced deficit reduction plan that leads to an end to sequestration,î he said. ìAnd we need Congress to pass appropriations bills for DOD and all federal agencies.




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


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey

Cope South experts exchange knowledge, techniques

Air Force photograph by 1st Lt. Jake Bailey TSgt. Sam Bishop, center left, and SSgt. Jeffrey Stephens discuss propeller maintenance with Bangladesh air force maintainers, from the 101st Special Flying Unit, during exercise Cope...
 
 

Air Force names 2-star to lead F-35 Integration Office

With the initial operating capability date of the F-35 Lightning II quickly approaching, the Air Force appointed Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian as the director of a larger Air Force F-35 Integration Office, Feb. 1. In addition to gaining new leadership, the F-35 Integration Office will also grow from a staff of four to 12 and...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

Air Force risks becoming too small to succeed under sequestration

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee Jan. 28, 2015, in Washington, D.C., as Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joesph F. Dunf...
 

 
Navy photograph by Ens. Jessica Kellogg

USS Elrod is decommissioned

Navy photograph by Ens. Jessica Kellogg The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Elrod (FFG 55) returns to her homeport at Naval Station Norfolk after a six-month deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility. This w...
 
 

AF Identifies Boeing 747-8 platform for next Air Force One

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, in coordination with the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall, has determined the Boeing 747-8 will serve as the next presidential aircraft, commonly known as Air Force One. “The presidential aircraft is one of the most visible symbols of the United States of...
 
 
Navy photograph

USS Roosevelt marks 200,000 trap

Navy photograph An F/A-18F Super Hornet flown by Capt. Daniel Grieco, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and Capt. Benjamin Hewlett, deputy commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, complet...
 




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>