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 January 30, 2015

News: Taliban claims responsibility for attack on Americans at military base near airport - The Taliban claimed responsibility Jan. 30 for a shooting incident at a military base attached to Kabul’s international airport yesterday that killed three American civilian contractors and an Afghan national, saying the attacker had infiltrated the ranks of the security forces. Commission...
 
 

News Briefs January 30, 2015

Military judge weighs restrictions on Gitmo female guards A military judge is deciding whether to continue restricting the use of female guards at Guantanamo. Navy Capt. J. Kirk Waits heard closing arguments Jan. 29 at the base in Cuba during a pretrial hearing for Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi. Waits didn’t say when he will rule. Hadi...
 
 
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...
 
 
boeing-ana2

Boeing announces ANA’s commitment to more jetliners

Airline continues fleet modernization with Boeing airplanes Boeing and All Nippon Airways announced Jan. 30 the airline’s intent to purchase three 787-10 Dreamliners to add additional flexibility to the airline’s 787 fleet....
 
 
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...
 




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>