Defense

March 11, 2013

Sequestration impacts ripple across Air Force

Tags:
Alan Black
Washington, D.C.

af-sequester1
Air Force senior leaders issued updated guidance to leaders of Air Force major commands and addressed the service’s airmen last week on how the service will operate under sequestration and a continuing resolution for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Acting Under Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Jamie Morin and Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer detailed in a memorandum what the service will do to navigate through an uncertain fiscal environment.

“On 1 March 2013, we expect to absorb over $12 billion in sequestration reductions while we simultaneously work to mitigate an (overseas contingency operations) shortfall of $1.8 billion and operate under a highly restrictive continuing resolution,” they say in the memorandum.

“These events are unprecedented for the department and the USAF,” Morin and Spencer wrote.

In a letter to all airmen, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III talked about what sequestration means for the service.

“March is here, and unfortunately, so is sequestration … that means the entire Department of Defense, including our Air Force, will experience about a nine percent budget cut across all programs – starting now, and with no ability to adjust which accounts those cuts come from,” Welsh said.

Sequestration, signed into law as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, is a package of mandated cuts to the federal budget, totaling some $1.2 trillion over 10 years of which some $85 billion takes effect in fiscal 2013.

In their memo, Morin and Spencer said a reduction of this magnitude would be devastating to our mission and our people.

One of the most notable impacts is furloughing of approximately 180,000 civilian employees.
af-sequester2
Civilians may be furloughed without pay for up to 22 discontinuous (or 30 continuous) days spread over a maximum number of pay periods possible with no more than 16 hours furloughed in pay period. The covered pay periods are from April to September 2013. The memo noted that only the Air Force vice chief of staff or other high-level designees can approve limited mission-driven exemptions.

Addressing the operational impacts, Welsh noted the immediate actions to training to protect the strategic advantage that airpower provides – the ability to respond at a moment’s notice.

“Some of our flying units will start to cut back on training immediately to protect the readiness of units scheduled to deploy and those with key mission responsibilities,” he said.

Of the more visible actions taken to support readiness needs, leadership has cancelled all aviation support to public events for at least the remainder of the fiscal year and is standing down the Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team.

The memo also outlines additional impacts to education and training programs, weapon systems sustainment, working capital funds and investment accounts.
On the education and training front, the Air Force will continue to attend all scheduled Defense Department and joint education and training events, but, third quarter attendance at short-term professional military education courses will be reduced, as well as all Headquarters Air Force leadership development courses scheduled through April 2013.

While the measures must be taken, Morin and Spencer stressed the need to carefully evaluate each action.

“Implementation of these actions should be structured as best possible to minimize short- and long-term harm to our people and unit readiness,” they said.

Welsh emphasized the importance of teamwork in working through these impacts.

“The impacts of sequestration will be noticeable, they’ll likely affect you, and, in some areas, they’ll hurt our mission in a big way,” he said. “But we’ll hang together and get through this … and hopefully our nation’s leaders can reach agreement and get things back on a more even keel soon.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines September 15, 2014

News: Navy identifies pilot presumed dead in crash - A Navy fighter pilot presumed dead after two fighter jets crashed in the far western Pacific Ocean has been identified.   Business: Boeing eyes 737-700 solution for new JSTARS - Boeing is officially planning a variant of its 737-700 commercial jetliner as a competitor for the Air Force’s...
 
 

News Briefs September 15, 2014

Australia contributing planes for anti-IS campaign Australia is preparing to contribute 600 troops and up to 10 military aircraft to the increasingly aggressive campaign against the Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sept. 14. Abbott said Australia was responding to a formal request from the United States for specific...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Lockheed Martin conducts flight tests of aircraft laser turret for DARPA

AFRL photograph The Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control turret that Lockheed Martin is developing for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Air Force Research Laboratory has completed initial flight testing. T...
 

 

Lockheed Martin advances live, virtual, constructive training in flight test

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jvXmOW8L3mU Lockheed Martin successfully tested a new solution for integrated live, virtual and constructive training during a flight demonstration at the company’s Aeronautics facility in Fort Worth, Texas. During the flight test, a pilot flying in a live F-16 engaged in a synthetic training exercise with a pilot flying as wing...
 
 
Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover arrives at Martian mountain

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover has reached the Red Planet’s Mount Sharp, a Mount-Rainier-size mountain at the center of the vast Gale Crater and the rover mission’s long-term prime destination. “Curiosity n...
 
 

Raytheon begins full rate production on TALON Laser Guided Rockets

Under a $117 million contract awarded to Raytheon, Raytheon Missile Systems has begun production of the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. In 2013, the Armed Forces General Headquarters of the United Arab Emirates awarded Tawazun a contract to procure the TALON Laser Guided Rocket. “Full rate production of the TALON LGR is a significant milestone for...
 




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>