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 Committeeís 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.


 
 

 

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...
 
 

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...
 
 
Navy photograph by POC Sam Shavers

Navy christens, launches future USS Detroit

Navy photograph by POC Sam Shavers Ship’s sponsor Barbara Levin breaks a bottle of champagne across the bow during the christening ceremony for the littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Detroit (LCS 7) at Mari...
 

 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Shyu: Army modernization entering ‘death spiral’

Army photograph by David Vergun Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, visits industry reps at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army after speaking on a ...
 
 
Navy photograph

U.S. Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft achieves IO

Navy photograph The U.S. Navy announced that the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye achieved Initial Operational Capability Oct. 10. IOC signifies that the first operational squadron, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 125, is ma...
 
 
Navy photograph by PO2 Tim D. Godbee

USS Coronado conducts dynamic interface testing with Fire Scout

Navy photograph by PO2 Tim D. Godbee An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 prepares to land on the littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) during visit, board, search ...
 




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>