Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz on Tuesday called on House lawmakers to “carefully consider” initiatives in the Air Force’s proposed Fiscal 2013 budget that touch upon personnel issues. Though acknowledging some may be controversial, such changes are essential to tackling skyrocketing personnel costs, he said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. “Among all the challenges facing the US, the reality of fewer members of our armed forces costing increasingly more to recruit, train, and obtain is the monumental defense issue of our time,” he said. “Our inability to address this properly will affect other areas of the budget, forcing out needed capabilities at a time when we are already right-sized for the missions ahead,” said Schwartz. Analysts have said personnel costs would consume the entire defense budget by 2039 if military health care and retirement costs continued to rise as they have been each year and defense budget toplines remained flat. (Donley-Schwartz prepared statement)
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.