Apr 6, 2017
Defense Drumbeat

On Wednesday, the House Armed Services Committee heard from the Service Chiefs on the "Damage to the Military from a Continuing Resolution.” To watch the hearing or read testimony click here.  Below are excerpts from some of the stories identifying critical readiness shortfalls:
Congress' failure to budget is “malpractice”: Warning that the “world is more dangerous by the day,” the Army Chief of Staff said Congress’ failure to pass a budget is “professional malpractice.”  He also used a smoking analogy to describe the deadly collective impact of stopgap funding on the military, saying, "One cigarette's not going to kill. But you do that for eight, 10, 20 years, 30 years, you're eventually going to die of lung cancer." AP
CR and no Supplemental increase risk to troops: Army’s top general warned that the “lack of 2017 appropriations and no supplemental increase in funding will significantly impact readiness and increase the risk to our force.” Defense News
Ships will stay home, Navy pilots won’t fly, pay could be cut: Unless the 2017 spending bill and the $30 billion supplemental is approved, the Chief of Naval Operations said, "three ships scheduled to deploy to Europe and the Middle East will stay home, our pilots will not fly and their jets will sit on the ramp needing maintenance, (and) we may lose skilled sailors because we cannot fund their bonuses." He also warned munitions remain too low and known vulnerabilities to cyberattacks will go unrepaired. AP
Troops could die on the battlefield: The Army's top general said more troops will unnecessarily die on the battlefield if Congress decides to pass another stop-gap budget measure this month.
Washington Examiner
Threats grow, Army shrinks: “We've reduced the Army by 80,000 or 90,000 soldiers in -- in the last eight years. We've taken out 17 brigade combat teams…still have 180,000 soldiers today deployed in under 40 countries around the world. We're still actively engaged the terms of op tempo and common operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Central Africa, West Africa and several other places.” General Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army
Air Force will stop flying:  "We'll stop flying in late June when the money runs out," said the Air Forces top General. Washington Examiner

Marine Corps will stop flying: “Under a full year CR, flight operations within the continental U.S. will cease and hard fought gains in Marine Corps aviation readiness will stall or be reversed.” General Robert B. Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps
15 Years of War and stress is getting worse due to budget: “The Eisenhower Strike Group was deployed five times in the last seven years. Contrast that level of effort with eight years of continuing resolutions and five years of budget restrictions imposed by the Budget Control Act and the Balanced Budget Acts (sic). This gap creates years of stress over and above the inherent stress of deployed operations. And the Navy team -- in fact, the Joint Service Team -- the Joint Force Team; sailors, civilians and their families, have been absorbing that stress.” Admiral John Richardson, CNO, U.S. Navy
Cannot afford maintenance or gas for Navy ships:  The Chief of Naval Operations outlined the lack of funding for ship and aircraft maintenance, for fuel, saying, “in many ways this is irreversible. You can't get lost training time back, we will be less proficient when we do go to sea.”
4 of 9 Navy carrier air wings shut down entirely: "Four of the nine carrier air wings that aren’t already deployed would be shut down entirely, and about a third of the Navy’s newest pilots wouldn’t be able to finish their initial training. That would leave squadrons undermanned by 20-to-30 percent by the end of the year, causing shortages that the Navy said would have ripple effects for the next several years.” Admiral John Richardson, CNO, U.S. Navy
Air Force Pilots who don't fly, maintainers who don't maintain, air traffic controllers that don't control, leave: "Chairman, it takes approximately 10 years and $10 million to train a fighter pilot. One thousand short equates to $10 billion of capital investment that walked out the door and it will take us 101 years to replace that experience. Of all the things that we can do to retain pilots the most important is to get them airborne.” General David Goldfein, Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force
America squabbles, competitors make big gains: “Risks are getting worse as other nations grow their fleet and operate them in the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic oceans. As they extend their influence over trade routes that are the lifeblood of the international economy, including ours.” Admiral John Richardson, CNO, U.S. Navy

115th Congress