Defense

March 15, 2013

Cuts harm programs sustaining all-volunteer force, official says

Spending cuts that took effect March 1 will diminish recruiting, training, and medical and support programs that sustain the all-volunteer force, a senior Pentagon official told Congress March 13.

Jessica L. Wright, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, noted to the House Armed Services Committee that President Barack Obama exempted military personnel accounts from sequestration.

“Although I wholeheartedly agree with his decision,” she added, “the results are larger decrements on other defense accounts, and most notably, the [operating and management] accounts, to compensate for this.”

Sequestration calls for a $41 billion deduction in budgeting across the department through the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, with another potential $6 billion “for a total of 9 percent of the total budget to be implemented in the last seven months,” Wright said.

“While we’re going to protect our war fighters’ military pay,” she added, “we cannot do this without the cost of readiness for our force.”

Although their pay won’t be affected, Wright said, service members will feel the pinch in other ways.

“The backbone of this great military institution is our people – active, National Guard and Reserve service members, as well as the civilians who serve throughout the country and the world, are the department’s greatest assets,” she said. Due to operating and maintenance cuts, she added, reduced training will lead to diminishing readiness, and ultimately, lower morale.

“Even as we seek to protect our family programs, where feasible, service members and family support programs will be impacted across the board because of funding decrements,” Wright said. “And that will affect the quality of life.”

The Defense Department’s career civilian workforce has not seen a pay raise in several years, and is likely to be subject to 22 days of unpaid furlough beginning from late April through September, Wright said, noting this equates to a 20-percent pay reduction over that period. This also affects their families and the economies of the communities where they live, she added.

“We’re currently reviewing the priority of family programs and how to minimize the impact and the effects of sequestration to our service members and families,” Wright said. “Although the purpose of sequestration is to evenly cut all programs, we’ll seek to preserve these services as much as practical. We have to make hard trade-off decisions to lessen these impacts and determine how to absorb these impacts.”

The undersecretary said DOD officials recognize the nation’s fiscal situation, but need the Pentagon’s contribution to be sensible.

“We understand the Department of Defense must do its part in addressing the nation’s budget cuts, [but we] must do it in a responsible and judicious manner,” she said.

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines October 20, 2014

News: Navy grounds ‘Top Guns’ - The F/A-18s needs spare parts and in too many cases they’re being taken from brand new jets. This is a risk to national security and pilots’ lives.   Business: Boeing seeks revised schedule for U.S. aerial tanker - Boeing is revising its master schedule for developing the new U.S. Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs October 20, 2014

New military medical team to help with Ebola in U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the military to prepare and train a 30-member medical support team that could provide short-term help to civilian health professionals if there are more Ebola cases in the United States. His spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, says the team...
 
 

Dragon ‘fires up’ for flight

The Air Force and NATO are undergoing a cooperative development effort to upgrade the avionics and cockpit displays of AWACS aircraft belonging to the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and the NATO E-3 Sentrys from Geilenkirchen, Germany. The Diminishing Manufacturing Sources Replacement of Avionics for Global Operations and Navigation, otherwise...
 

 
Boeing photographs

Boeing-built X-37B successfully completes third flight

Unmanned spacecraft concludes record-setting 674-day mission   Boeing photograph A third mission of the Boeing-built X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle was completed on Oct. 17, 2014, when it landed and was recovered at Vandenberg...
 
 

Boeing concludes commercial crew space act agreement for CST-100/Atlas V

Boeing has successfully completed the final milestone of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability Space Act Agreement with NASA. The work and testing completed under the agreement resulted in significant maturation of Boeing’s crew transportation system, including the CST-100 spacecraft and Atlas V rocket. NASA in July approved the Critical Design Review Board milestone for Boeing’...
 
 

AF to release small business research solicitations

The Air Force Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program office is set to release its fiscal year 2015 list of topics Oct. 22, on the SBIR/STTR website.  Small businesses and research institutions with expertise to address the topics’ technology challenges are encouraged to submit proposals. During 2014, the Defense Department SBIR...
 




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>