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Posts Tagged ‘deficit reduction’

Defense Spending to Gain Upper Hand over Deficit Reduction in Long-Term Budget

  • February 10, 2014
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The fiscal 2015 budget request for the Pentagon is expected to adhere to the budget caps revised in last December’s budget agreement, but at the same time the White House is encouraging DOD to include a $26 billion “wish list” of unfunded priorities in the proposal scheduled to be released next month. The department’s FY 2015 base budget will be about $496 billion. However, White House officials were surprised by many of the cuts DOD included in its draft budget proposal, especially the elimination of one of the Navy’s aircraft carriers …

Budget Cuts Require Balancing Act, Hagel Says; Work Nominated for Deputy Slot

  • February 9, 2014
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Short on specifics, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel emphasized the need to take “a holistic point of view” as Pentagon officials fine-tune the fiscal 2015 budget request. The key is to balance readiness, modernization and capability as planners look for places to trim about $41 million from the FY 2015 spending level the department envisioned one year ago, he told reporters Friday during a Pentagon press briefing. “Now, will there be cuts across the board? Of course there will. You can’t do it any other way. Are there going to be adjustments across the board? Of course …

DOD Reverses Proposal to Eliminate One Carrier

  • February 9, 2014
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A plan to shrink the Navy’s fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers from 11 to 10 has been nixed due to congressional opposition. DOD officials planned to call for the retirement of the USS George Washington in its fiscal 2015 budget proposal as a belt-tightening move, but reversed course after a bipartisan group of lawmakers criticized the move, reported Stars and Stripes. In a bid to avoid an election year battle, the White House said it would provide extra funds to extend the life of the George Washington …

Exercise Allows Think Tanks to Prepare Alternative Defense Budgets

  • February 5, 2014
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Four Washington think tanks offered their own takes on the Pentagon’s new long-term budget during an event Wednesday hosted by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA). All four groups — CSBA, along with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the American Enterprise Institute — were forced to trim personnel and weapons systems under a budget scenario that followed the sequester caps imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act. All four focused significant cuts in end strength on the Army …

Personnel Cuts, Aircraft Retirements likely to Highlight Air Force Budget

  • February 5, 2014
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Major cuts in personnel and the wholesale retirement of several airframes are expected to highlight the Air Force’s fiscal 2015 budget request, scheduled to be released next month. “I see a trend, which I think the [Strategic Choices and Management Review] highlighted, toward sustaining a smaller force in the near term in order to resource needed modernization programs,” said Mark Gunzinger, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments …

Local Officials Oppose Panel’s Recommendation to Eliminate Air Force Reserve Command

  • February 4, 2014
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Despite calling for a greater emphasis on the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force’s final report recommends the service disestablish Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC), a proposal criticized by lawmakers and leaders in Middle Georgia, where the command is headquartered at Robins Air Force Base. “When we want to rely even more heavily on our reserve forces in the future, why would you eliminate the structure that has helped us get to where we are today?” asked Robert McMahon, president and CEO of the 21st Century Partnership, the community-based group that promotes Robins …

Commission Calls for Air Force to Consider ‘Warm Basing’ Installations

  • February 3, 2014
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The Air Force should consider, with congressional authorization, closing or “warm basing” some installations, so that scarce budget dollars can be more efficiently allocated to readiness accounts, according to a congressionally created commission that focused on balancing the service’s force structure between its active and reserve components. “Warm basing may, in some cases, be a better, more cost-effective option than closing bases as it can save in conversion costs while also leaving infrastructure available for future contingencies,” according to the final report of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force …

One Cost-Cutting Measure Could Jeopardize Health of Housing Privatization Projects

  • February 2, 2014
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The Defense Department has discussed a number of reforms needed to rein in costs and sustain a robust force structure, with changes to compensation and benefit costs one of its highest priorities. One adjustment officials have broached, however, reducing or freezing the basic allowance for housing (BAH), could “seriously impair” the military’s housing privatization program, according to a commentary in Multi-Housing News. Because initial investment decisions in individual projects were predicated on modest increases in the monthly allowance given to service members for housing costs, an across-the-board rate increase or a tiered reduction based on rank will have an immediate impact on owners and managers of privatized housing projects, writes Paula Cino, senior director of energy and environmental policy for the National Multifamily Housing Council …

HASC Lawmakers Urge DOD to Retain Carriers

  • January 28, 2014
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A bipartisan group of 11 House Armed Services Committee lawmakers wrote Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Tuesday urging the Pentagon not to retire any of the Navy’s 11 aircraft carriers as part of its fiscal 2015 budget request. “There is no doubt that there is enduring bipartisan support for a robust Navy supporting a capital fleet of 11 nuclear aircraft carriers,” stated the letter headed up by Seapower Subcommittee Chairman Randy Forbes (R-Va.). Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) also signed the letter. The letter was written after Defense News reported this week that DOD officials are considering whether to eliminate one carrier and one carrier air wing in the 2015 budget, reported the Hill.

No Plans to Close Commissaries, Dempsey Says

  • January 28, 2014
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The Pentagon has not decided to close military grocery stores, but officials are looking for savings anywhere possible to mitigate the impact of budget constraints, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday. Officials asked the Defense Commissary Agency to assess the impact of reducing or eliminating taxpayer subsidies for the system, Dempsey said. Military exchanges do not receive a federal subsidy, and the same potential exists with commissaries, he noted …

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