Stone Bled Dry

Anyone thinking there are still billions of dollars worth of efficiencies that the Air Force can find in its budget is kidding himself, said Secretary Michael Donley Thursday. Donley said the Air Force has been on an efficiency campaign for 10 years, capped by $33 billion in overhead cuts demanded by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates last year. Although the Air Force won’t stop seeking energy savings and improved information technology, “there’s just not that much left to do,” by way of finding efficiency dollars, he said in a Capitol Hill speech. “We have leveraged ourselves already” and borrowed heavily against future needed programs, he said. “We’ve done what we can on efficiencies. We’ll try to do more, but you can’t expect tens of billions of dollars in savings from efficiencies going forward . . . from the United States Air Force.”