Air Force issues a formal fantasy football RFI

The Air Force can't pay for flying hours, tuition assistance or training because of sequestration but threatening fantasy football leagues is a bridge too far.

This is a pretty good example of why some people might get frustrated when the service chiefs go before Congress and use words like devastation and destruction when asked what a 9 percent cut to their budgets might do to the military. It also draws confusion when Pentagon leaders say they had no choice but to freeze tuition assistance enrollments because their piggy banks are running empty.

The U.S. Air Force issued a formal request for information Tuesday on FedBizOps.gov to potentially issue a contract to set up a fantasy football league for airmen across “100 installations worldwide.” Politico’s Morning Defense newsletter used a tip from Twitter user @krempasky to first break the story.

Before everyone jumps to conclusions, Valerie Baltimore, the point of contact on the RFI, pointed out that no funding has been set aside for a contractor to run a fantasy football league for the Air Force. Air Force Personal Center Services Directorate is simply collecting information.

However, timing is supposed to be the Air Force’s specialty — the whole “time on target” mantra. Whoever approved this RFI isn’t doing a great job following the news. It’s tough to complain about not having enough money to fund training or pay for tuition assistance, but the service does have time to pay for a contractor to hold a meeting and issue a formal RFI for a fantasy football league.

The rest of working America depends on ESPN or CBS or Yahoo to organize their leagues for free. When Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III is telling Congress is ringing the alarm bells and saying budget cuts will “carve crucial capability from America’s Air Force, with alarming and immediate effects on people, readiness and infrastructure, and, eventually, on modernization” it might not be the best idea to issue a Fantasy Football League contract for any amount of money.