: Air Force Secretary Michael Donley offered some numbers on July 25 to gauge the pain of implementing sequestration on the Air Force’s budget in January, should Congress fail to steer away from that fiscal cliff. Operations and maintenance accounts would lose $6 billion; “procurement would come down $4.5 billion;” and research, development, test, and evaluation activities would have to make due with $3.4 billion less, said Donley during a Capitol Hill address sponsored by AFA, the National Defense Industrial Association, and Reserve Officers Association. Those numbers assume that there is an exemption to the sequestration for personnel, he said. Sequestration would do “significant damage” to the military, and if it takes hold with a personnel exemption, that damage would grow from a baseline 10 percent to 13 percent, he said. “All our programs would have to be reduced, restructured, or terminated,” he said. Donley believes that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has finally succeeded in getting Congress to “understand the effects” of sequestration.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.