Eric Fanning, Air Force acting secretary, said the Air Force is mending from the hard lessons from last year’s budget battle between the Active Duty and reserve components. However, most of the work undertaken by the commission studying the Air Force’s structure and by the Total Force Task Force will only partially inform what’s going into the Fiscal 2015 budget build, he told reporters on Monday at AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. “Congress said, take a breather and let it settle, no major movements,” said Fanning of the aftermath of the Fiscal 2013 budget turmoil. Budget sequestration forced the Air Force to reopen its assessment of the Total Force balance. The TF2 effort came into being before the sequester, but will inform some of the budgeting decisions for Fiscal 2015, said Fanning. Meanwhile, the commission’s work will come out after the President submits the federal government’s Fiscal 2015 budget request and the Air Force will have to square its findings after the fact. As a general guideline, as the Air Force is crunching its lower budget with sequestration impacts factored, Fanning said the rule is to make sure the balance isn’t altered between the three components too much, and to make sure the budget takes the service “in the direction we want to be in [Fiscal 2016 and Fiscal 2017].”
Rumored cuts to the F-35 from the fiscal 2025 defense budget—six from Air Force plans—would not be offset by recent Foreign Military Sales, and will disrupt ongoing Lot 19 negotiations, Pentagon and industry sources said.