Feb 13 2013
“What do you want your military to do? If you want it to be doing what it’s doing today, then we can’t give you another dollar.”
Last week, President Obama opened the door to a temporary fix of sequestration. When asked to elaborate on what that fix would look like, Spokesman Jay Carney again advocated paying down sequester with more defense cuts. VIEW CHART
Today, testifying with all the service chiefs, General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked about the magnitude of additional cuts the military can endure. His important answer: “We can’t give you another dollar.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey:
“We built a strategy last year that we said we could execute and absorb $487 billion. I can't sit here today and guarantee you that if you take another $175 billion that that strategy remains solvent....
The question I would ask this committee: What do you want your military to do? If you want it to be doing what it's doing today, then we can't give you another dollar. If you want us to do something less than that, we're all there with you and we'll figure it out.”
Below are additional highlights from the testimony of America’s military commanders, detailing the impacts of repeated cuts to the Department of Defense:
Department of Defense
· As of March 1, services will begin cancelling ship and aircraft maintenance work for the 3rd and 4th quarters. It is estimated that about 25 ships and 470 aircraft will be affected unless we can reverse these actions.|
· Most services and defense agencies will institute civilian hiring freezes, with exceptions for mission-critical activities. This freeze will disproportionately affect veterans, who make up 44 percent of the DoD civilian workforce. Hiring freezes will also be felt across the nation, since 86 percent of DoD’s civilian jobs fall outside the Washington, D.C. metro area.
· Most services and defense agencies will begin laying off a significant portion of our 46,000 temporary and term employees, again with exceptions for mission-critical activities.
· Most services and defense agencies will curtail facilities maintenance. More than $10 billion in funding— mostly to contractors and small businesses—would be affected, translating into lost jobs in the private sector. The Air Force, for example, plans to cut facilities maintenance projects by about half, including cuts to 189 projects at 55 installations in 26 states.
· The Army and other services are curtailing training not directly related to missions. The Army has directed a reduction of 30 percent in base operating services relative to FY 2012 levels and other services are also limiting base support.
· We are terminating an estimated 3,100 temporary and term employees and have directed an immediate Army-wide hiring freeze. These employees typically fill gaps in our installation services such as Army substance abuse programs, law enforcement, physical security, public works, and installation education programs.
· We have initiated planning to furlough up to 251,000 civilians for one day a week for twenty-two weeks, in full recognition of the risks of decreased productivity, morale, and the loss of 20% of their pay while furloughed. In addition to the hardship this poses to our dedicated workforce, this furlough will have an immediate trickle-down effect as the majority of these civilians are located throughout the U.S. on our posts and stations, and their spending directly impacts local economies and contributes towards state and local taxes. Any furlough would have an immediate impact on fire and emergency services, law enforcement, airfield operations, and all of our Army family programs.
· We are making plans to cancel 3rd and 4th quarter depot maintenance. As a result, we are terminating employment of an estimated 5,000 temporary, term, contractor, and permanent employees due to the reduced Depot Maintenance workload.
· We will reduce Army purchase orders with 3,000 companies, of which 37%, or approximately 1,100, may consequently face moderate to high risk for bankruptcy. The reduction in maintenance will delay equipment readiness for six Divisions (3rd Infantry Division [Georgia], 4th Infantry Division [Colorado], 10th Mountain Division [Louisiana and New York], 25th Infantry Division [Alaska and Hawaii], 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) [Kentucky] and 82d Airborne Division [North Carolina]).
· These delays will halt the reset of 1,000 Tactical Wheeled vehicles, 14,000 communication devices and 17,000 weapons in Active and Reserve units for three to four years following redeployment.
· Cancel 70% of ship maintenance in private shipyards and all aircraft maintenance scheduled in the 3rd and 4th quarters of FY13; this affects up to 25 ships and 327 aircraft and eliminates critical ship and aircraft repair and adds to an existing maintenance backlog generated by a decade of high-tempo operations – resulting in an overall Navy maintenance backlog of about $3 billion;
· Reduce by about one-third the number of days at sea and hours of flight operations for ships and aircraft permanently stationed in the Asia-Pacific; cancel all aircraft deployments and four of six ship deployments to the region;
· Reduce by half the number of days at sea and by one quarter the hours of flight operations for ships and aircraft in the Middle East and Arabian Gulf; reduce carrier presence in the Arabian Gulf to one (the requirement is two carriers);
· Stop Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) deployments to the Middle East / Arabian Gulf in FY14 after USS BOXER; this loses the nation’s primary response force for crises such as noncombatant evacuations in Liberia and Lebanon, floods in Pakistan and Thailand and terrorism threats in Africa – all of which were addressed by ARGs in the past decade.
· Cancel five of six FY13 ship deployments (including USNS COMFORT) and stop all aircraft deployments to South America, stopping efforts that interdicted hundreds of tons of illegal drugs into the U.S. in 2012.
· Cancel all ship and aircraft deployments to Africa, halting support to counter-terrorism operations on the continent during a time when terrorist affiliates are active there;
· Stop training and certification of ballistic missile defense ships, resulting in no new deployments of these ships to Europe after October 2013;
· Cancel most non-deployed operations including exercises, pre-deployment certification, and all port visits in the continental U.S.; as a result, the number of ships available for homeland defense will be reduced and it will take 9-12 months for ships that were not preparing to deploy to regain certification for Major Combat Operations;
· Stop training and certification for Carrier Strike Groups (CSG) except for the one next to deploy to the Middle East / Arabian Gulf; We will have only one additional or “surge” CSG certified for Major Combat Operations in FY13 and throughout FY14 (down from almost three on average);
· Stop training and certification for Amphibious Ready Groups (ARG), resulting in no additional or “surge” ARG certified for Major Combat Operations in FY13 and FY14;
· Freeze hiring of civilian workers and release current temporary workers, resulting in a reduction of about 3,000 people from our shipyard workforce of Navy civilians;
· Plan to furlough up to about 186,000 civilians for 22 days, resulting in a 20 percent pay Reduction.
U.S. Marine Corps
· Reduce depot funding to 27% of the identified requirement, thus decreasing throughput of depot level maintenance for organizational equipment, and delaying our ability to reset war- torn equipment by eighteen months or more
· Park over eighty aircraft as depot maintenance schedules are stretched out
· Reduce support to theater geographic combatant commander requirements for shaping their theaters, responding to crisis and preventing conflict
· Reduce participation in multi-national training exercises, degrading one of the most effective investments in building partner nation capacity.
· Degrade training for deploying units due to lack of fuel, equipment and spare parts
· Cut ammunition allocations for gunner certification and training
· Cut flight hours available for pilot proficiency, safety, and certification
· Reduce facility maintenance to 71% of the requirement
· Delay Marine Corps contributions to Joint special operations and cyber forces.
· Further reduce an already thinned civilian workforce
· Severely curtail or extend acquisition programs
· Reduce organizational activities including recruiting, range-maintenance, family-housing maintenance and quality of life enhancements for military families.
· Curtail safety and base security investments. Cut educational investments in the human capital of our uniformed and civilian workforce
· Reprioritize an entire year of Military Construction projects into FY 14 and beyond. Given the current fiscal limitations, some could be delayed or deferred or may be cancelled. When reductions in facilities sustainment are compounded with the inability to execute our planned Military Construction program for FY 13, we are faced with a situation where we have severely impacted planned aviation unit lay-downs associated with the MV-22 and F- 35B, as well as other critical projects at home and in the Pacific.
· Delay major procurement programs such as Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and Amphibious Combat Vehicle resulting in the possibility of Nunn- McCurdy breaches, Initial Operational Capability delays, and increased unit and total program cost.
· Cancel major multi-year procurements such as the MV-22 and incur greater cost and program delay in future program buys.
U.S. Air Force
· Should sequestration occur, the Air Force expects the requirement to involuntary furlough up to 180,000 civilian Airmen. Although the exact figures are still in work, we anticipate the loss of 22 working days for each civilian Airman between mid-April and September 30, 2013. This loss goes far beyond the 31.5 million man-hours of productivity we will lose—it also hits each individual with a 20 percent loss in pay over a six-month period, and it breaks faith with an integral and vital element of the Air Force family.
· The operational impacts will be particularly severe in parts of the Air Force that rely most heavily on civilians, like our depots and some of our flying training bases. For example, at Laughlin AFB, Texas, the Air Force’s largest pilot producer in FY122, civilian Airmen comprise the entire maintenance and simulator instructor workforce. A twenty percent reduction in that base’s ability to maintain jets and train student pilots will slow vital pilot production, an issue that always requires careful management.
· On April 1, 2013, Air Education and Training Command will curtail advanced flight training courses, freeing up resources necessary to protect initial qualification flight training. Despite those actions, initial qualification flight training may also stand down in early September 2013, or perhaps earlier depending upon the impact of civilian Airmen furloughs. The cascading effects of stoppages like these could result in future pilot shortages that could take over a decade to remedy.
· "The Air National Guard may not have the equipment available to respond to a new contingency. The Air National Guard will have to “park” aircraft due to reduced funding for flying hours."
· "The Army will cancel all Combat Training Center rotations and Division Warfighter Exercises except for training for deploying units. Fifteen Field Artillery classes will also be cancelled by the Army. Further reductions in Basic Combat Training will result in drastic reductions in the number of deployable Soldiers."
· "Within the Air National Guard, the number of flight training missions will also be reduced as training flights are cancelled and as flying hours are allocated for priority missions. Under sequestration most flying units will be below acceptable readiness standards by the end of this fiscal year."