Things That Aren’t Going South, or East

The Air Force has had to reduce support to US Southern Command as a result of budget sequestration, said Lt. Gen. Burton Field, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans, and requirements. “That’s affecting [the command’s] ability to work with some of our allies . . . like Colombia,” he told reporters after his AFA-Air Force Breakfast Program speech in Arlington, Va., on May 23. The cutbacks mean not only less training time with Colombia and other regional friends, but reduced “support we can give them in the counterdrug mission,” said Field. “So, the US is taking some risk here,” he added. Field also said some units that were scheduled to deploy to the Middle East to reinforce US Central Command are staying home. “If something bad happens, we’ll send them,” he said. “But if you keep them at home station, you don’t have to spend the money . . . that’s required to sustain them there.” It’s more affordable, he said, “to operate them at your home station.” (For more coverage of Field’s talk, see And Now, Modernization and Not a Good Situation and What Else We’re Not Doing.)