• White House Budget Plan Doesn’t Add Up

    White House Budget Plan Doesn’t Add Up0

    With defense hawks and Democrats alike blasting President Trump’s proposal to offset a $54 billion increase in military spending above the statutory budget cap with a corresponding cut in domestic programs, the consensus of budget watchers is that the administration’s fiscal 2018 budget request will be merely the opening salvo in what is likely to

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  • Air Force Outlook for Modernizing Fleet Likely to Prompt Showdown with Capitol Hill

    Air Force Outlook for Modernizing Fleet Likely to Prompt Showdown with Capitol Hill0

    The Air Force plans to shrink it fleet by 235 planes over the next five years as it sheds legacy aircraft to make way for the F-35, its fifth-generation fighter. The service plans to divest 232 T-38 trainers, 166 A-10 Warthogs and 160 F-16s over the next five years, while adding 185 F-35s, according to its fiscal 2017 budget request. The long-term plan is nothing new. For years, officials have talked about the need to keep the F-35, KC-46A air refueling tanker and the B-21 bomber on track, reported Defense News. But Congress could step in to slow the Air Force’s plans to retire legacy aircraft, as it has to spare the A-10 close air support aircraft in recent years …

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  • Hampton Roads Looks to Diversify Economy following Defense Downturn

    Hampton Roads Looks to Diversify Economy following Defense Downturn0

    In past decades, a decline in work at shipyards and other military-dependent industries in the Hampton Roads region stemming from a downturn in defense spending has always been followed by a future upswing in the Pentagon’s budget. But for the first time since World War II, leaders in southeastern Virginia are looking for new industries to diversify the region’s economic base as it becomes clear that defense spending no longer will supply 50 percent or more of the local economy. “We haven’t had a concerted effort in the past because, quite frankly, we haven’t needed one,” said Bryan Stephens, the head of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce …

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  • Experts Battle over True State of Military Readiness

    Experts Battle over True State of Military Readiness0

    A story in Stars and Stripes this week takes a balanced look at the debate over whether the nation’s military is in the throes of a readiness crisis. For much of the year, the House Armed Services Committee has delivered a steady drumbeat of press releases and links to news stories highlighting shortcomings in military readiness. “The rate of deployments has remained consistently high for over a decade, but the military resources available to meet those threats are declining. As it stands, we cannot meet combatant commander requirements, reliably maintain our equipment, or fully train and care for our troops,” Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) said earlier this month after the Government Accountability Office released a report on the military’s effort to rebuild its low readiness levels …

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  • Budget Issues Are Hampering Modernization, Readiness, Service Chiefs Testify

    Budget Issues Are Hampering Modernization, Readiness, Service Chiefs Testify0

    The combination of uncertainty resulting from Congress’ reliance on stopgap spending bills and stringent fiscal constraints stemming from statutory budget caps has harmed readiness and jeopardized national security, the military’s most senior officers told lawmakers Thursday. “Eight years of continuing resolutions, including a year of sequestration, have driven additional costs and time into just about everything that we do,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The services are essentially operating in three fiscal quarters per year now. Nobody schedules anything important in the first quarter. The destruction that this uncertainty imposes translates directly into risk to our Navy and our nation …

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