The Pentagon proposes retiring the U-2 Dragon Lady and A-10 Warthog in the Fiscal Year 2015 defense budget it will present to the Congress next week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said. Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, previewed the budget for reporters on February 24.
United States Department of Defense
The U.S. Air Force reinstated flight training at combat squadrons that saw their operations curtailed in April by “sequestration” budget cuts. The service announced the resumption of flight training on July 15; it stays in effect until the new fiscal year begins on October 1.
Russian aviation will make a splash at this year’s Paris Air Show with the fourth-generation-plus Su-35 multirole fighter flying unrivaled by anything comparable from the U.S. military. In fact, there will be no U.S. government-owned military airplanes either flying or on static display because of the automatic “sequestration” budget cuts roiling the Pentagon. This is the first time since 2001 that a Russian fighter will take part in the Paris flying display and the first time that a U.S. fighter is absent from the event since 1991.
The U.S. government spends more on its military each year than any other nation by far, but it will be a restrained Department of Defense (DOD) that presents itself at this year’s Paris Air Show. That’s because a previously obscure fiscal mechanism known as “sequestration” requires the DOD to cut $41 billion, or roughly 8 percent of its $527 billion base budget, by September 30, the end of the fiscal year on the government’s calendar.
The U.S. Navy is upgrading the communications network on its E-6B Mercury airborne command post to provide the battle staff on board with faster, more reliable access to both classified and unclassified information. The service recently received the third fleet E-6B outfitted with the Internet protocol bandwidth expansion (IPBE) upgrade.
The U.S. Congress has passed legislation that delays the threatened automatic cuts in federal government spending by two months until March 1, sparing for now a $55 billion reduction in the Department of Defense (DOD) budget for the current fiscal year. That budget currently stands at $552 billion, after the Congress authorized the Fiscal Year 2013 spending bill late last month. The President signed the defense authorization bill on January 3.
A year after industry groups such as the Aerospace Industries Association started warning about the threatened U.S. government budget reductions known as “sequestration,” the White House has offered specifics about what the impact would be for the Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies.
More than the usual number of reporters descended on the Pentagon January 5, hopeful of learning how, specifically, the Department of Defense will cull billions of dollars from its budget over the next decade. Would the troubled F-35 program be further restructured or reduced? Would the V-22 get clipped?
Defense spending cuts of some $350 billion over the next decade contained in the new debt-limit legislation passed by the U.S. Congress correspond with the numbers expected from an earlier goal advanced by President Obama. But the Pentagon leadership described the potential of $600 billion more in automatic spending cuts as disastrous.
President Obama outlined ambitious new goals for U.S. deficit reduction, including a call for growth in security spending to be held below inflation over the next 12 years. This amounts to a $400 billion cut over current plans. Fiscal hardliners have called for even greater cuts in defense spending–up to $1 trillion. While the Congress would probably not implement such drastic surgery, the outlook for defense spending in the U.S.
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