Where to Start

The most disconcerting aspect of the current budget environment for the Air Force’s long-range planners “is the unprecedented levels of uncertainty” they face, said Lt. Gen. Michael Moeller, who’s in charge of strategic planning and programming on the Air Staff. “As we begin the Fiscal 2015 budgeting cycle and look out over the next five and 10 years, we don’t know where the starting point is,” Moeller told the House Armed Services Committee’s tactical air and land forces panel on Feb. 28 while discussing the budget sequester and current continuing resolution for defense spending. Moeller said one of his civilian programmers described the situation as such: “This future budget planning is like painting a color-by-numbers picture while blindfolded in the back of a C-130, flying through a thunderstorm.” He told the lawmakers: “The bottom line is, in this fiscal crisis environment, we believe the choice to preserve readiness will drive us to make tough decisions about slowing the pace of modernization, sustaining capability or capacity, and looking to programs or force structure in order to make up the difference.” (Moeller-Davis prepared testimony)