Pentagon Preparing Reprogramming Request

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday said the Pentagon is preparing to send “a large reprogramming” request to Congress to offset significant shortfalls in Fiscal 2013 operation and maintenance accounts. “The military’s experiencing higher operating tempos and higher transportation costs than expected when the [Fiscal 2013] budget request was formulated more than a year ago,” said Hagel on April 17 during his first time testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee as the Pentagon’s top leader. “As a result,” he continued, “the department is now facing a shortfall in our operation and maintenance accounts for Fiscal 2013 of at least $22 billion in our base budget for active forces.” To mitigate the shortfall, DOD has already reduced official travel, cut back on facilities maintenance, instituted hiring freezes, among the efforts. Even with the reprogramming, officials will still have to consider additional measures—such as civilian furloughs. The reprogramming “can only solve some of our problem,” said Hagel.