Defense

April 8, 2013

Sequestration not yet a national security threat

Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

Sequestration will have no effect on the drawdown in Afghanistan, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said April 6.

[Sequestration] is an avalanche, not a light switch,î Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey said in a round-table discussion with members of the press traveling with him on his trip to Afghanistan.

The avalanche started March 1, he said, and is building momentum. ìWeíre consuming readiness without building it, because we are taking the money that we would normally have used to build readiness of units that might deploy a year from now and weíve had to apply it into our wartime operations,î Dempsey said. Additionally, the chairman said, the department is supporting commitments on the Korean Peninsula and the Persian Gulf.

ìWhen you fence that off and fully fund it – and you have to fence it off, weíve got young men and women out there in harmís way and they will always be fully funded – when you do that, though, the risk you take begins to accrue,î Dempsey said.

By 2014 the department will face medium-term problems in maintaining readiness, he said. ìThe problems weíve got are multiplying and will multiply over time,î Dempsey added.

We will always do what we have to do to protect the nation and its interests, the chairman said. For example, he continued, the theater air defense system recently placed in Guam was costly, ìbut it never crossed our mind not to do it because we wanted to save the money.

ìMoney is not a factor when our national interests are threatened,î he said, ìbut readiness is something that has to be sustained over time.î The cost of requalifying certain service members, like pilots, due to interruptions to training can actually cost more than the training itself would have, the chairman noted.
ìThe one thing that I would never do – and I know [Defense] Secretary [Chuck] Hagel feels the same way – is weíre never going to deploy a service man or woman whoís not ready to deploy,î he said.

Sequestration is not a risk to our national security at present,î the chairman said.
But the uncertainty does make us less efficient [and] it sends a very negative message to our men and women who serve.

The department will get through the readiness challenge, he said, but the next challenge could be retention. Service members wonít stay in the military if they canít do their jobs, the chairman said.




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




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>