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U.S. Air Force News

  • AF leaders seek relief from sequestration-level funding

    Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III discussed the damaging effects of sequestration with members of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations’ Defense Subcommittee Feb. 27.

  • AF envisions smaller force to preserve readiness

    Discussing upcoming budgetary variables during a Pentagon news conference today, the Air Force's top civilian leader for the past six months addressed the inevitability of a smaller force.

  • AF officials announce FY14 civilian workforce shaping

    The Air Force will reduce the size of its civilian workforce by about 900 positions in addition to maintaining approximately 7,000 vacancies across the force to meet the demands of a constrained fiscal 2014 budget, officials announced.

  • Hagel focuses on readiness at Reagan Library Speech

    Long-term preparedness and near-term readiness are being affected by sequestration and America ignores this rise in risk at its peril, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Nov. 16, in California today. Hagel spoke at the first Reagan National Security Forum at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley. The

  • Service chiefs testify on risks of sequestration

    As they face the prospect of another year of deep cuts to their budgets, the military's service chiefs testified today before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the impact sequestration is having on the ability to organize, train and equip their service members.

  • AF leaders describe future force under sequestration

    Two senior Air Force leaders testified before Congress Oct. 23 along with their Army and Navy counterparts on the impact of the continuing resolution and sequestration on the service’s acquisition and modernization programs.

  • Shutdown endangers reserve component readiness

    Reserve component personnel continue to be affected by the government shutdown, and officials are concerned about readiness. Within DOD, the reserve components are the Army National Guard, the Air National Guard, the Army Reserve, the Air Force Reserve, the Navy Reserve and the Marine Corps Reserve.

  • Service chiefs detail 2014 sequestration effects

    The House Armed Services Committee heard testimony on planning for sequestration in fiscal 2014 from Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos.

  • Hagel announces reduction in civilian furlough days

    Hundreds of thousands of Defense Department civilian employees who have had to take a weekly unpaid day off from work since July 8 are getting some relief, as the total number of furlough days has been reduced from 11 to six, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced today.

  • Pentagon cuts furlough days from 11 to 6

    Hundreds of thousands of Defense Department civilian employees who have had to take a weekly unpaid day off from work since July 8 are getting some relief, as the total number of furlough days has been reduced from 11 to six, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Aug.6.

  • Combat Air Forces to resume flying

    Combat Air Forces, or CAF, units from multiple commands began flying again today after many stopped flying in April of this year due to sequestration. The restored flying hour program represents Congressional action on the $1.8 billion overseas contingency operations reprogramming action made

  • SecDef details 'Plan B' should sequestration continue

    If sequestration continues into fiscal year 2014, the Defense Department will be forced to consider involuntary reductions-in-force for the civilian workforce, draconian cuts to military personnel accounts and a virtual halt to military modernization, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a letter

  • Hagel calls DOD education support a strategic priority

    The Defense Department's commitment to military families and to quality education for military children is a strategic imperative that leaders will maintain, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in remarks July 9.During closing remarks at the Military Child Education Coalition's 15th National Training

  • Hagel discusses 'State of DOD' in Nebraska speech

    In a wide-ranging speech given today at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, his alma mater, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talked about the necessity of adapting the nation's military to operate in a world that's undergoing far-reaching geopolitical, technological and economic change."The world is

  • Defense contractors will share burdens of furloughs, Hagel says

    The Defense Department is reviewing all of its contracts, and DOD contractors will share the burden of spending cuts, including the furloughs facing the department's civilian workforce, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told senators June 11.Hagel testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee's

  • Air Force changes military funeral honors requirements

    Due to the impact sequestration has on resources, Air Force Services is adjusting requirements for military funeral honors of retirees. Air Force policy will revert to requiring a minimum of two personnel for retiree MFH details, consistent with statute and DoD policy. The Air Force historically

  • AF excepts civilians affected by tornadoes from furlough

    The Air Force announced Monday, June 3, that civilian employees whose homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by the recent Oklahoma tornadoes will be "excepted" from administrative furlough.While most Air Force civilian employees received their notices May 28, Tinker Air Force Base delayed

  • Commissaries plan for Mondays furlough

    When furloughs are implemented, most military commissaries will close one day a week on Mondays, the Defense Commissary Agency's top official said. The closures will be for up to 11 days between July 8 and Sept. 30."We know that any disruption in commissary operations will impact our patrons. "Also,

  • Director details furlough plans for DOD schools

    Students, teachers and parents of the Defense Department's schools can be confident that despite the department's upcoming civilian furloughs, the school year will start on time, the Department of Defense Education Activity's director said May 22.DODEA operates schools overseas and at some U.S.

  • USAFE-AFAFRICA infrastructure under pressure

    U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa is seeing the ripple effect from sequestration. Budget cuts for this fiscal year to facilities sustainment and restoration are expected to cause readiness issues now and into the future. Lt. Gen. Tom Jones, the USAFE-AFAFRICA interim commander, said these

  • Hagel announces fewer furlough days for DOD employees

    After weeks of review, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has concluded budget cuts will require most of the department's civilian employees to be furloughed beginning in July, but that because of other efforts to deal with the shortfall, only half of the 22 days originally envisioned as temporary

  • DOD Comptroller: Sequestration devastates U.S. military readiness

    During a Senate hearing yesterday on President Barack Obama's $9.5 billion military construction budget request for fiscal 2014, Defense Department Comptroller Robert F. Hale said the severe and abrupt budget cuts imposed by sequestration are devastating the U.S. armed forces.Hale and John Conger,

  • Hagel to make furlough decision soon, press secretary says

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will make a decision soon on the scope of civilian furloughs in response to sequestration spending cuts, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today.Hagel is reviewing analysis on the budget "and he'll reach a decision in the near future," Little told

  • USAFE fighter squadrons affected by sequestration

    Nearly half of the fighter squadrons in U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa halted flying operations three weeks ago.The action was a result of the reduction of flying hours Air Force-wide -- one impact of the current sequestration-related budget challenges affecting the Defense

  • Total force readiness topic of Capitol Hill testimony

    Senior leaders from the active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve were on Capitol Hill here April 24th to discuss the impact of sequestration on Total Force readiness.In written and oral testimony, they reconfirmed the Air Force's commitment to serving America's long-term

  • Senior leaders testify on health of personnel programs

    Air Force senior leaders, along with counterparts from each of the services, testified about the current state of military personnel programs before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee April 24.Daniel B. Ginsberg, assistant secretary of the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs and Lt. Gen.

  • Affordability priority for F-35 program

    Affordability remains the priority for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter, the Pentagon's program executive officer for the Defense Department's most expensive procurement told Congress yesterday.Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan told the Senate Armed Services Committee's airland

  • SecAF: Readiness, modernization in flux

    The Air Force will see few force structure changes this year, but readiness and modernization accounts will be in flux this year and next, Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said here today.The secretary also told the Defense Writers' Group that now is the time for another base realignment and

  • Sequestration will affect force readiness

    The four branches of the military delivered another warning to Congress April 18 that a prolonged budget sequester will significantly affect military readiness, and could leave the services unable to carry out defense strategy.Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer told lawmakers

  • Sequestration impact on combat aviation: decreased readiness

    The near and long term effects of sequestration and budget cuts for the military's combat aviation assets was the focus of a House Armed Services Committee subcommittee panel on Capitol Hill April 17.Two of the Air Force's top experts on combat aviation acquisition and operations, along with their

  • AF leaders highlight space program successes, address FY14 budget

    Space today is in as good a position as it's been in a very long time, said Richard McKinney, the deputy under secretary of the Air Force for space. McKinney, along with Dr. Jamie Morin, the acting under secretary of the Air Force, and Brig. Gen. Robert McMurry, the director of space programs for

  • Reserve, Guard leaders discuss FY14 budget

    The top leaders from Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force Reserve and National Guard were on Capitol Hill here April 17 to provide statements and answer questions regarding their FY14 budget proposals.Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., the chairwoman of the full U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Sen.

  • DOD 'scrubbing money pot' to reduce furloughs, Carter says

    Pentagon leaders from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on down are looking for ways to reduce the pending civilian employee layoffs known as furloughs, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter said April 16.Under the department's current plan, more than 700,000 civilian employees will receive furlough

  • Carter: DOD will prevail against uncertainty

    The Defense Department will prevail against both strategic and budgetary uncertainty, Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter told members of the military community April 16.Carter spoke to service members and civilian employees during a visit to Scott Air Force Base, Ill. The base is home to U.S.

  • Air Force officials announce civilian Reduction in Force

    In a continuing effort to meet the Department of Defense funding targets in the FY12 President's Budget and re-balance the civilian workforce, approximately 60 Air Force installations will implement civilian Reduction in Force authorities effective through about Aug. 23, to assist in the placement

  • AF installations chief testifies to Congress on BRAC, MILCON

    In testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction-Veteran Affairs here April 12, a senior Air Force leader announced the fiscal year 2014 budget for the service's installation programs. Kathleen Ferguson, Air Force Installations, Environment and Logistics, outlined

  • SecAF discusses $114.1 billion budget proposal

    The Air Force's top civilian leader today presented his service's fiscal 2014 $114.1 billion baseline budget request to Congress and shared some of the fiscal challenges the Air Force has faced."As with all budgets, our FY (2014) request represents a snapshot in time," Secretary of the Air Force

  • FY 14 budget: Sequester puts key Air Force objectives at risk

    Upon release of the Air Force Fiscal Year 2014 budget here April 10, the services' senior leaders said the shadow of sequestration in 2013 and on-going fiscal uncertainty will affect critical programs and objectives for years to come.While Air Force officials have scrambled to minimize impacts on

  • Air Force restarts tuition assistance

    The Air Force has officially restarted military tuition assistance, effective immediately. The service restarted the program as a result of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013, where Congress called for the MTA program to continue in the current fiscal year. As a

  • Air Combat Command stands down units due to budget cuts

    Air Force officials will begin to stand down active-duty combat units starting April 9 to ensure the remaining units supporting worldwide operations can maintain sufficient readiness through the remainder of the fiscal year.The stand down is the result of cuts to Air Combat Command's operations and

  • Reductions won't affect most TRICARE Prime beneficiaries

    Despite upcoming service area reductions, TRICARE Prime will remain a health care option for 97 percent of the more than 5 million beneficiaries eligible for the health care plan, Military Health System officials said.The 3 percent difference, which comprises about 171,000 beneficiaries who mostly

  • AF to implement force structure changes

    The Air Force released its plan Mar. 28 to implement force structure changes mandated by the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. The bill authorized the service to complete actions approved in previous years, such as aircraft retirements, and directed execution of

  • DOD looks at funding's effect on personnel, programs

    Defense Department officials are looking at the recently signed continuing resolution that funds the government for the rest of the fiscal year to discern how the legislation affects personnel and programs, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said March 27.The legislation may mean fewer furlough

  • Congress reviews reserve forces equipment needs

    Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson, chief of Air Force Reserve, joined other Reserve and National Guard senior leaders on Capitol Hill March 19 to testify and answer questions.The Air Force and Army reserve component flag officers went before the House Armed Services Committee's Tactical Air and Land Forces

  • Pentagon delays sending furlough notices to civilian workforce

    Pentagon officials have put off sending furlough notices to civilian employees until they've had a chance to analyze how pending legislation that would fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year will affect the Defense Department.Officials now estimate that furlough notices will go

  • AF personnel chief talks family programs, tuition assistance

    A senior Air Force leader testified in front of Congress Mar. 13 on the impact sequestration has had on Airmen and family programs, to include military tuition assistance. Lt. Gen. Darrell D. Jones, deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, informed members of the House Armed

  • Furlough to affect thrift savings plan contributions

    Federal civilian employees could see their Thrift Savings Plan contributions reduced if furloughs take effect.The Thrift Savings Plan is a retirement savings and investment plan for federal employees and members of the uniformed services, including the Ready Reserve."Employees who have selected

  • AF to retain additional intratheater airlift aircraft through fiscal 2014

    The Air Force announced it will retain additional airlift aircraft through fiscal 2014 in response to a congressional mandate to retain an inventory of 358 intratheater airlift aircraft.The Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act signed into law Jan. 3, 2013, included language directing

  • Air Force suspends military tuition assistance

    In the wake of sequestration, the Air Force officially suspended military tuition assistance March 11.Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley announced the Air Force has officially suspended military TA for the remainder of fiscal 2013. The program will continue to be evaluated to determine the

  • Furloughs can begin April 26, DOD comptroller says

    Unless Congress acts to end sequestration, furloughs for Defense Department civilian employees can begin April 26, the department's comptroller said here March 11.Robert F. Hale discussed the furlough planning process with a Pentagon audience. The comptroller also took questions sent in via Facebook

  • Sequestration impacts ripple across Air Force

    Air Force senior leaders issued updated guidance to leaders of Air Force major commands and addressed the service's Airmen last week on how the service will operate under sequestration and a continuing resolution for the remainder of the fiscal year.Acting Under Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Jamie

  • Strategic Command: Cuts could erode capabilities

    The U.S. Strategic Command can execute its full mission responsibilities today, but the impacts of fiscal uncertainty and declining resources in the next six months or a year could change that, Air Force Gen. C. Robert Kehler said today.Testifying here before the House Armed Services Committee,

  • Time now to get smart on sequestration, furlough

    Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta notified Congress recently that should sequestration occur, the Department of Defense will initiate furlough for its 800,000-plus civilian employees. Congressional notification is required at least 45 days from a planned furlough, with implementation anticipated

  • Sequestration to affect DOD schools, commissaries

    Civilian personnel at Department of Defense Education Activity schools and the Defense Commissary Agency will be affected by sequestration, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said here today.The department will struggle to ensure DODEA -- which serves 84,000 students at 194 schools -- maintains

  • AF personnel chief: 'sequestration sends wrong signal to workforce'

    The Air Force's top personnel chief testified to Congress on the impact to military end strength in a budget constrained environment on Capitol Hill Feb. 27 during a House Armed Services Subcommittee military personnel hearing.Lt. Gen. Darrell D. Jones, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for

  • AF leaders warn of sequester impacts on replacing an aging fleet

    Two senior Air Force leaders here this week warned of the impacts sequestration and a continuing resolution will have on the service's acquisitions and programs. Lt. Gens. Michael Moeller, the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs, and Charles Davis, the military deputy, office of

  • SecAF visits 45th Space Wing

    Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley visited with 45th Space Wing Airmen here Feb. 21 as part of a weeklong visit to Florida. The secretary visited Patrick to not only thank Airmen, civilian and military alike, for their outstanding service, but also to discuss the potential impacts the service

  • If sequestration triggers, furloughs begin in late April

    If sequestration is triggered next week, unpaid furloughs for civilian Defense Department employees will start in late April, Pentagon officials said here today.Sequestration is a provision in budget law that will trigger major across-the-board spending cuts March 1 unless Congress agrees on an

  • Panetta issues message to DOD workforce on sequestration

    With major, across-the-board defense spending cuts scheduled to take effect March 1, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today issued a message to the Defense Department workforce.Here is the secretary's message:For more than a year and a half, the president, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and I have

  • Welsh: Sequestration will 'undermine' readiness

    Unprecedented budget factors have placed the nation's defense strategy in jeopardy, senior Department of Defense leaders told the Senate Armed Services Committee Feb. 12.During his opening remarks, the chief of staff of the Air Force stressed the severity of the current fiscal

  • AF leaders: Sequestration, more budget cuts will be devastating

    Sequestration would leave the Air Force with untrained people, a lack of equipment and be "devastating" to the service, officials said Feb. 7.The warning echoes what Department of Defense officials have stated for months about across-the-board defense cuts, in addition to an ongoing continuing

  • AF implements voluntary FY13 force management programs

    The Air Force will implement several voluntary officer and enlisted force management programs for fiscal year 2013, Air Force Personnel Center officials announced today.Announced in the January release of the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2013, the authorized active duty Air Force

  • Despite Smaller Budget, Air Force Seeks to Protect Satellites

    Despite tremendous budget uncertainty and a shrinking bottom line, the commander of the Air Force Space Command said that he will do his best to protect all of the Air Force's satellite constellations.Speaking with reporters at a recent meeting of the Defense Writers Group, Air Force Gen. William L.

  • Air Force implements civilian hiring freeze

    Air Force senior leaders directed a force-wide hiring freeze among other workforce actions in a memorandum sent to senior commanders Jan. 16.The actions are part of the Air Force's efforts to pursue reversible or recoverable steps to avoid impacts to core readiness caused by the looming possibility

  • Morin talks sequestration, near-term budget actions

    The acting under secretary of the Air Force described how the nation's fiscal challenges are affecting the service to a group of civic and industry leaders in Arlington, Va., Jan. 15.Dr. Jamie Morin spoke to members of industry, the Air Force, the Air Force Association and media as part of AFA's

  • Air Force leaders deliver budget guidance to force

    Air Force leaders delivered guidance to the force recently, telling them to begin planning for the uncertain budget environment ahead, Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley said Jan. 11 in a press briefing."Even though we're not presuming this worst case will occur, prudent planning for the

  • Air Force leaders will deliver budget guidance to force in days

    Air Force leaders will deliver guidance to the force in a few days to begin prudent planning for the uncertain budget environment ahead, Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley said here Jan. 11.Donley and Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the Air Force chief of staff, briefed Pentagon reporters Jan. 11, on the

  • Fiscal cliff legislation affects military, civilian paychecks

    The legislation President Barack Obama signed Jan. 2 postponed the fiscal cliff and means changes to military and civilian paychecks, Defense Finance and Accounting Service officials said today.The legislation increases Social Security withholding taxes to 6.2 percent. For the past two years during

  • Obama Signs $633 Billion Defense Authorization Act

    President Barack Obama signed the $633 billion fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act into law yesterday.The legislation, which cleared Congress last month, authorizes the department to act in any number of instances. "There are certain things that cannot be done without [the authorization

  • Legislators avoid fiscal cliff, delay sequester process

    Congress has avoided the fiscal cliff, but Pentagon Press Secretary George Little called on the body to continue efforts to permanently eliminate the threat of sequestration.The House of Representatives passed a Senate proposal that avoided the fiscal cliff last night. Defense Secretary Leon E.

  • SecAF declares 'Modernization can't wait'

    The Air Force's senior civilian addressed the importance of modernization and the challenges ahead for the Air Force at the 2012 Aerospace and Defense Investor Conference here Nov. 29."Among the most difficult challenges facing the Air Force is the need to modernize our aging aircraft inventory as