Sequestration and the contracting chaos attending it represent a “double whammy,” said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. Speaking with reporters at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 22, Donley observed that the sequester is “making a lot of work” for finance, contracting, and accounting personnel. But if it happens, “we’re going to reduce the workforce” in finance through layoffs, furloughs, and other civilian personnel actions, he said. “Our ability to get that work done is reduced,” said Donley. “The closer we get” to the sequester, “the more we appreciate the second-, third-, fourth-order effects of multiple changes in plans and programs,” he said. “There’s no part of our Air Force—or the Army, Navy, or anyone else in this enterprise—that’s not affected by the scope and depth of these reductions,” he said.
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.