Recovering Lost Capability

The Fiscal 2016 budget started the recovery the Air Force needs and the Fiscal 2017 budget builds on those efforts, Maj. Gen. James Martin told reporters Tuesday. In 2012, the Air Force estimated it would need $137 billion in Fiscal 2017. This year’s budget request is $17 billion less than that planning number, and would have been $23 billion less under Budget Control Act caps, Martin said. The budget pressures since sequestration have resulted in “lost capacity, lost capability, and lost readiness to support the joint force,” and Air Force readiness is “near all-time lows,” he said. And though the Air Force will restore Active Duty endstrength to 317,000, some capability gaps will remain, he said. “We’ll need permanent relief from [the Budget Control Act, including] increased manpower and more time for peacetime training before readiness fully recovers,” Martin said.