Planning for the Worst

Maj. Gen. Edward Bolton, the Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary for budget, said on Tuesday the service is confident it can get to a Fiscal 2015 program objective memorandum that is “within potential reductions, if necessary,” should the budget sequester remain in effect. The challenge, however, is that the Air Force is getting squeezed on both ends, he told AFA’s Nation’s Capital Chapter during a speech in Arlington, Va., on May 14. Because of unfunded gaps in Fiscal 2013, the service now has a bill it will try to pay with a reprogramming—more than $1 billion in obligations, he said. At the same time, it has no visibility into what the budget topline will be for Fiscal 2014, he said. “The big thing for us is we need time going forward,” he said. In addition to ongoing consultation on force structure matters between the Active Duty, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve, Bolton said everything the Air Force does is going to be “racked and stacked” against service core missions and tasks—and what is affordable.