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.


 
 

 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Shyu: Army modernization entering ‘death spiral’

Army photograph by David Vergun Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, visits industry reps at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army after speaking on a ...
 
 
Navy photograph

U.S. Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft achieves IO

Navy photograph The U.S. Navy announced that the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye achieved Initial Operational Capability Oct. 10. IOC signifies that the first operational squadron, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, is ma...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO2 Tim D. Godbee

USS Coronado conducts dynamic interface testing with Fire Scout

Navy photograph by PO2 Tim D. Godbee An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 prepares to land on the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) during visit, board, search ...
 

 
marine-f35b

VMX-22 gets hands on with F-35 Lightning II

Marine Corps photograph by Cpl. Owen Kimbrel An F-35B Lightning II with Marine Operational and Test Evaluation Squadron (VMX) 22 prepares to touch down aboard Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Oct. 9. This is the squadronís firs...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Krystal Jeffers

BMT trainees complete last run on closing obstacle course

Air Force photograph by SrA. Krystal Jeffers Basic military trainees swing around a bar as part of the basic military training obstacle course Sept. 24, 2014, at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. The obstacle course was a...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO1 Michael McNabb

USS America joins the fleet

Navy photograph by PO1 Michael McNabb Sailors and Marines assigned to amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) man the rails as they “bring the ship to life” during America’s commissioning ceremony. America...
 




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>