The President’s Fiscal 2014 budget request will be sent to Congress in the next few weeks, but officials here at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., say it’s basically a house of cards. There is still too much uncertainty about the Fiscal 2013 budget, which Air Force Secretary Michael Donley on Friday called a “moving target” because Congress has yet to approve it. The devastating across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, which are set to kick in on March 1 unless Congress acts, are now a very real possibility. Sequestration calls for an additional $1.2 trillion of federal spending cuts through Fiscal 2021, of which more than 50 percent would come from defense accounts. Donley said the Fiscal 2014 budget request will not “reflect the likely reality of sequestration.” That makes Fiscal 2015 and future planning numbers “very suspect,” he said during his state of the Air Force address on Feb. 22.
The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness revised the Defense Department’s COVID-19 guidelines. The new rules clarify what’s meant by being “up to date” on vaccinations and when personnel must wear masks in vehicles, among other changes.