Air Force Issues Directive to Soften Sequestration Blow

Air Force leaders issued a directive to the major commands on Monday intended to soften the blow of budget sequestration, said Acting Undersecretary of the Air Force Jamie Morin. “We’ve moved from planning and analysis to directing at least a subset of actions,” said Morin during an AFA-sponsored Air Force breakfast program address in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 15. The new guidance is based on a Jan. 7 memo that Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh sent to Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter. The memo outlined the potential steps that the Air Force could take to lessen the impact of the budget sequester if it takes effect in March and the Defense Department also continues to operate under a continuing resolution, which keeps funding at Fiscal 2012 levels. Morin acknowledged that any actions that the Air Force takes will do little to prevent further severe cuts and readiness reductions if Congress does not resolve the double threat of sequestration and the continuing resolution by then. “It greatly complicates resource planning at a time when we absolutely must squeeze the maximum amount of combat capability out of each taxpayer dollar that’s entrusted to us,” he said. (See also As Bad as it Gets.)