SAC-D Halts Fiscal 2013 Force Structure Adjustments

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense panel recommended on July 31 that the Air Force take a “strategic pause” in making force structure adjustments next fiscal year. Instead, the panel added “more than $800 million to sustain current force structure, including equipment, personnel, and operations,” according to the summary of its mark-up of the Pentagon’s Fiscal 2013 spending proposal (see below). Further, panel members want the Air Force to use “existing funds” next fiscal year to procure the C-27J transports and RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 remotely piloted aircraft that the service intended not to buy since it proposed divesting both of those aircraft types. Like the Senate Armed Services Committee before it, the Senate defense appropriators want the Air Force to wait on retiring or divesting more aircraft “until a national commission reports to the Congress” on the appropriate makeup of the service, stated Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), panel chairman, in a statement on the mark-up. It was the SASC that first proposed this commission. (See also Miller Sheds Light on Costs of Keeping Air Guard Airplanes.)