Winnefeld to Congress: Need to Know Budget for 2014

Winnefeld to Congress: Need to Know Budget for 2014

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Congress’ inability to offer a clear answer whether sequestration will again strike the defense budget in 2014 is making the Defense Department’s job even tougher when it comes to planning, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday.

“We find ourselves really with no idea how much money the Defense Department is going to have in 2014,” Adm. James “Sandy” Winnefeld said in a keynote address here at the Air Force Association’s annual Air & Space Conference.

The Defense Department stands to have $52 billion slashed from their budget next year unless Congress finds a way to reach an agreement that eliminates sequestration.

The Navy admiral told the Air Force crowd that the toxic atmosphere of sequestration, continuing resolutions and Congressional gridlock means “everything, except perhaps cyber, is going to get smaller.”

The challenge for Air Force leaders, and for leadership in all the services, will be to “find innovative ways to fund readiness at reduced costs,” Winnefeld said. “There will be some tough internal choices,” Winnefeld said. “Readiness seems to have no constituency in this environment.”

Leaders will have to be “willing to face new realities,” and one of the harshest realities would come in coping with a fiscal environment “in which the ways and means are shifting under our feet,” Winnefeld said.

“We need to get our old stuff out of the system so we can buy and maintain new stuff,” he said.

He renewed the call for closing unnecessary military bases, a move that Congress has repeatedly blocked. Winnefeld also said that the sequestration process underlined the reality that “we simply cannot maintain the growth in pay and benefits” that have come to be expected in recent years.

“It’s time for us to lean this business out,” meaning the services will have to establish priorities and stick to them to carry out missions with available resources, Winnefeld said.

The world won’t wait for the U.S. to get its ways and means of funding in order, Winnefeld warned. Emerging powers, such as China, were “working very hard to catch up” to the U.S. military, Winnefeld said.

“Where they can’t challenge us symmetrically they will do so asymmetrically,” he said.

Despite his warnings on funding, Winnefeld said the core mission of the Air Force in ruling the skies while providing strategic lift for ground forces would not be altered.

“If the Air Force were a stock, I’d be buying it,” he said.

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If the military wants to close a base, would it be possible to simply move units out of those bases and draw them down without Congressional micromanagement? Though I suppose Congress would still try to spend money on those bases, and the money would probably sit in an account, unspent.

Horrible article. Congress set the FY2014 spending level back in 2011 when it ordered a roll back to FY2007 levels.But the Pentagon wants $54 billion more, to fight the Soviets or OBL or whoever they think they are fighting. This is not a cut, just a refusal for continual increases.

Another way to save money scrap usless crap pet project the solders dont want just the pentagon like JSF and GCV. End the pork and we have alot more money to spend.

Years ago our Congress supported President Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars Program. Now I believe he is looking down and shaking his head in disgust at the spectacle of military sequester by certain factions within his Grand Old Party.

SecDef Hagel and Admiral Winnefeld will have to issue direct orders to those in the DOD who are resisting the budget drawdowns. The first memos on reducing headquarters are out. General Donely has ben brought in to help reduce the HUGE staffs. The next memos should be to direct the Service Chiefs to reduce layers of oversight in management and mangement staffs, streamline and consolidate all personnel, HR, travel, IT, and support functions (overhead support staff) by 20 percent. Reduce meetings that are for information purpoises only, they are a waste! Further direction will have to provided to specifically address the redundant reporting and chart making and breifings that go on throughout all levels of acquisitions. Another direction would be to get rid of all non DFAR processes and all other “tools” used that that are not in the Federal Register. The DOD has thousands working on the same subjects but hundreds of different ways and process that are wasteful and add no value to procurement or procurement oversight.


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