Spending Cuts Would Delay Construction, Air Force Says
The Air Force would be forced to postpone the start of 22 new military construction projects if automatic defense cuts are imposed beginning March 1, according to an Air Force presentation to Congress.
Sequestration would affect smaller projects as well, requiring the service to defer work on more than 420 non-emergency facilities sustainment and restoration/modernization projects at more than 140 installations, according to the presentation.
The cutbacks would be needed to mitigate a $12.4 billion budget shortfall through the end of fiscal 2013 and would cause readiness to fall to “sub-optimal levels.” Flying hours would decline 18 percent and about 180,000 civilians would be placed on furlough if Congress fails to reach a deal to avert the across-the-board spending cuts, reported Air Force Times.
Overall, DOD will need to find $46 billion in savings through Sept. 30 if sequestration goes forward. Coping with a smaller-than-expected budget if the continuing resolution funding the federal government is extended through the end of the fiscal year will require further cutbacks.
Read a recent USA Today story to read about other cuts the services are considering to address funding shortfalls.