The High Cost of Saving Money

The sequester that has grounded 33 Air Force fighter squadrons will cost a lot of money to undo, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said on June 17. Speaking at an Air Force Association-sponsored Air Force breakfast in Arlington, Va., Welsh said the “big impact” of the sequester “will not be felt this year, it’s next year and the year after that.” Squadrons that aren’t flying now will have to fly many extra hours to regain combat proficiency, he said. “You can’t just accelerate training and catch up. It costs somewhere around two-and-a-half times as much money to retrain a squadron as it does to keep it trained,” he explained. However, “we’re probably not going to get that. … So this is going to stretch out for a while,” he added. (See also “Cutting Readiness” from the April edition of Air Force Magazine)