Military Struggling With Budget Instability

National VFW - 2/13/2017

Ending sequestration has been a top VFW legislative priority ever since it was created by the Budget Control Act of 2011; yet six years later, America’s military is still at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, but now with the added threats posed by Russia, ISIS, China, Iran and North Korea. These points were hammered home Tuesday when the vice chiefs of the four military services testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Readiness has suffered from years of budget instability, statutory budget caps, temporary workarounds, personnel end-strength cuts and Congress passing nine consecutive continuing resolutions. Only one-third of Army brigade combat teams and one-fourth of combat aviation brigades are ready today. Eighty percent of Marine aviation units lack the minimum number of ready basic aircraft. The Navy can only satisfy 40 percent of regional combatant commander demand. Air Force pilots today are flying less than half the 15 sorties and 20 hours a month their predecessors flew in the 1970s, the decade the Air Force uses to define "hollow force.” There is hope the new administration and new Congress can begin making repairs. They have until April 28, when the current stopgap continuing resolution expires. Read testimony and watch the Senate hearing.