Defense

March 14, 2014

Sequestration would cripple U.S. military strategy, Hagel says

Tags:
Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testifies on the Defense Department’s fiscal year 2015 budget request before the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee in Washington, D.C., March 13, 2014. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Robert F. Hale, the Defense Department’s comptroller, joined Hagel to testify on the request.

If sequestration begins again in fiscal year 2016, the U.S. military will not be able to carry out defense strategy, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the House Appropriations CommitteeĆ­s defense subcommittee March 13.

A return to sequester would put at risk “America’s traditional role as a guarantor of global security, and ultimately our own security,” Hagel said.

Events in Europe over the past few weeks underscore the need for American involvement, Hagel said. President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2015 defense budget request reflects that reality, he added, and sustains U.S. commitments and leadership at a very defining time.

“I believe this budget has to be far more than a set of numbers or just a list of decisions,” the secretary said. “It is a statement of values. It’s a statement of priorities. It’s a statement of our needs. It’s a statement of our responsibilities.”

The budget request is realistic, Hagel said, and prepares the military to defend the nation at a time of increasing uncertainty throughout the world.

From the troop side, Hagel discussed compensation reform. The department is committed to providing service members fair compensation, he emphasized, “as well as the training and the tools and the edge they will always need to succeed in battle and return home safely.

“To meet those obligations under constrained budgets, we need some modest adjustments to the growth in pay and benefits, the secretary said. All these savings will be reinvested in training and equipping our troops. And there are no proposals to change retirement in this budget.”

The Defense Department will continue to recommend pay increases, Hagel said, but they will not be as substantial as in past years. The department will continue subsidizing off-base housing costs, he added, but not at 100 percent, as it is today. DOD will pay about 95 percent, he said, and it will be phased in over the next several years.

The budget request includes a provision to reduce subsidies for military commissaries. “We are not shutting down commissaries,” Hagel explained. “We recommend gradually phasing out some subsidies, but only for domestic commissaries that are not in remote areas.”

Finally, the secretary said, the Defense Department recommends simplifying and modernizing the three TRICARE military health plan systems by merging them into one, with modest increases in copays and deductibles for military retirees and family members that encourage them more fully to use the most affordable means of care. “Active duty personnel will still receive care that is entirely free,” he said.




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


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 
 

SMC stands up new Advanced Systems, Development Directorate

While space officially begins at 62 miles above the Earth’s surface, for the men and women of the Air Force space begins near sea level at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base,Calif. SMC is where innovative ideas are matured into space systems that deliver operational capabilities to U.S. warfighters in...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine

SEWIP block upgrade program evaluated for LCS

Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Helen Hernandez monitors an SLQ-32 radar aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is deplo...
 




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>