Making Do With Less of More

Airmen and Air Force civilians, like all members of the US military, are slated to get a 1.4 percent bump in base pay in Fiscal 2011 under the Pentagon’s new budget proposal. And Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale says he hopes that Congress won’t try to tack on an extra 0.5 percent as it’s done in the past several years. “Military deserves generous pay; they’re under a great deal of stress,” Hale said Monday when discussing the budget. But, he added, when Congress bolsters the base pay level by an extra 0.5 percent, this adds about $500 million to the Pentagon’s base budget, money that DOD needs to train and equip its forces. Accordingly, he said he’s urging Congress to enact the 1.4-percent raise, which would keep military pay in step with increases in the private sector, but not to add on more.