Correspondingly Difficult Decisions

The Air Force’s $3.9 billion request in Fiscal 2013 for military construction, military family housing, and facilities reflects the “difficult decisions” that the service made across its budget build to align its force structure to the new defense strategic guidance and nation’s fiscal realities, Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz told House lawmakers on Thursday. The request includes $500 million to sustain and modernize overseas family housing and to support housing privatization within the United States, he said in testimony before the House Appropriations Committee’s Milcon panel. It also includes some $442 million for Milcon—$900 million less than in this fiscal year. That would suffice for “the most urgent” Milcon needs, said Schwartz. The service is also “accepting some risk” by funding facility restoration and modernization at “90 percent of historic levels” and sustainment “at slightly more than 80 percent” of the requirement, he said. Schwartz reiterated the Air Force’s support for two more BRAC rounds. “We believe that substantial cost savings from eliminated excess infrastructure can be realized only through formal BRAC deliberations and efforts to close installations fully, not through mission realignments and consolidations,” he said. (See also Reflecting Difficult Decisions.)