Getting Beyond Fiscal 2013

The 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, La., logged more than 6,000 flying hours in Fiscal 2013, about 15 percent less than usual, according to a wing release. That reduction—the result of budget sequestration and the standdown of many combat air force units from March to July—had a significant effect on the wing, states the Oct. 5 release. “Most of my squadron regressed to non-combat ready status,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Link, commander of the 96th Bomb Squadron, one of the wing’s two combat-ready B-52 units. “In fact, a large portion of the squadron lost their currencies and some even had their check rides expire,” he said. Post-standdown, the squadron has focused on “regaining lost capability” and getting back to pre-sequestration operational levels, said Link. The squadron’s combat mission-ready status, currently at 70 percent, is projected to reach near 100 percent by the end of October, states the release. But there are longer term impacts, such as elongated timelines for upgrade training, according to the release. (Barksdale report by Capt. Phil Ventura)