Budget Excursions

In line with, but separate from the Air Force’s efforts to find overhead savings over a five-year period starting in Fiscal 2012, the service is looking at every conceivable budget option, Lt. Gen. Chris Miller, lead for long-range planning on the Air Staff, said Thursday. The Air Force Board and leadership at many lower levels are looking at more options “than you can shake a stick at,” Miller told the Daily Report after his presentation in Crystal City, Va. Many are simply what-if scenarios that are “not even close to reality,” he said. Although USAF is looking at ways to pare more than $28 billion from its spending through Fiscal 2016, that number could go up, Miller said. “I don’t have a crystal ball that says we won’t have different guidance next year,” he said. However, he noted that Defense Secretary Robert Gates is “focused on getting some real, tangible, realizable gains.” The “going-in” position is that force structure is to be preserved, “and so far, I think . . .we’ll be successful at doing that,” said Miller.