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20 mars 2015 5 20 /03 /mars /2015 12:20
Special Operations Leaders Voice Sequestration Concerns


WASHINGTON, March 19, 2015 – By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.-  DoD News


 Challenges caused by limited resources, fiscal uncertainty and the changing nature of threats have forced the military’s special operations forces to operate creatively, the Defense Department’s top special operations officials told Congress yesterday.


Michael D. Lumpkin, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, and Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, appeared before the House Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee to discuss Socom’s fiscal year 2016 budget request.


Fiscal uncertainty requires creativity in bridging gaps between resources and national security objectives, Lumpkin said. Meanwhile, he added, the changing nature of threats demands the attention and engagement of special operations forces through agile authorities that enable the force to remain ahead of adversaries.


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12 novembre 2013 2 12 /11 /novembre /2013 12:50
Army Air Corps Apache attack helicopter takes off from the deck of the Royal Navy's amphibious assault helicopter carrier HMS Ocean - photo UK MoD

Army Air Corps Apache attack helicopter takes off from the deck of the Royal Navy's amphibious assault helicopter carrier HMS Ocean - photo UK MoD


November 10, 2013 by martin – Think Defence


Due to the ongoing sequestration and budget battle in Washington the US Army has been forced to delay its Apache new build and rebuild programs to AH 64 E standards. This means the current type as used by the British Army is likely to be supported for longer giving the MOD some vital breathing space to decide what to do about its Apaches.


Currently UK thinking seems to be slanted towards going for a rebuild on the current fleet but reported costs for the US program would put a rebuild on the entire UK Apaches fleet some where north of $600 million which is probably not something the MOD can consider for the next few years at the very least.


However as the rebuild will see the fuselage and main rotor replaced, if it was to go ahead would it be worth the UK looking at a marinised version? The aircraft is said to have performed very well from Ocean but it has some severe maintenance issues when being used in a salt water environment. Could a rebuild offer us the chance to solve some of these issues and produce a truly purple asset.


ADEX 2013: US sequestration buys time for UK Apache decision makers

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23 septembre 2013 1 23 /09 /septembre /2013 12:20
Does Anyone Care About the Fate of the US Military?

September 23rd, 2013 By Lexington institute - defencetalk.com


It’s official. The leadership of this country including the major media outlets have lost their collective minds. Yesterday, the Joint Chiefs of Staff testified before the House Armed Services Committee that if sequestration continues, they could not say with confidence that the U.S. military could successfully handle even one serious conflict!


Not a war on the Korean Peninsula, a conflict over the Strait of Hormuz, the defense of Japan or Taiwan from attack or even meet our obligations under the NATO Treaty to defend Europe.


According to BreakingDefense, “each of the Joint Chiefs was asked by Rep. Randy Forbes, chairman of the HASC seapower and power projection forces subcommittee, if they could execute the military’s basic Strategic Planning Guidance, which requires that U.S. forces be able to handle one enemy and to deter another. Down the line he went. Odierno: no; Greenert: no; Welsh: no. Amos, yes, but.”


So the Army, Navy and Air Force leaders all said they will not be able to meet the basic requirement for the U.S. military. The Marine Corps Commandant, General Amos said “yes, but”; however his service’s mission is so different from the rest. Moreover, without adequate support from his brothers in arms, the yes is irrelevant.


Was this story on the front page of the nation’s major newspapers? No.


Was it a lead story by the morning television news programs? It was not.


Did talk radio bring it up? Not as far as I could tell, channel surfing today.


America is disarming and no one, including the Commander in Chief, seems to care. Remember, sequestration was a White House idea. When his military commanders tell Congress they will not be able to defend this country if sequestration continues, you would think it would be worth at least a mention by President Obama. Nope.


Actually, this is not quite true. Our current and future enemies care. They are waiting for us to sink into the depths of budget insanity. Then they will have clear paths to achieving their goals, be it reunification of the Korean Peninsula on Pyongyang’s terms, dominance by Beijing of Asia, control of the strategic Persian Gulf by Iran or the recreation of the Russian empire.


Our current allies care. Don’t think for minute that Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Taiwan and half a dozen other countries won’t see the collapse of the U.S. military and the de facto termination of U.S. security guarantees as reason enough to acquire nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Northeast Asia alone could have five or six nuclear powers before the decade is over. That should give everyone in Washington a warm feeling, right?


By the way, if the U.S. military cannot say with confidence that they could win even one major conventional conflict that would leave this country with only two options: surrender or nuclear deterrence. We would have to go back to the bad old days of Massive Retaliation. It means modernizing aging and obsolescing strategic and theater nuclear forces, abandoning current arms control agreements in order to increase both the size and sophistication of our new nuclear force structure and living again under the sword of Damocles.


Anyone want to talk about what the Joint Chiefs just said? Anyone care about the impending implosion of the U.S. Military? Anyone want to end the madness and find a solution to sequestration? Apparently not.

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18 septembre 2013 3 18 /09 /septembre /2013 07:20
USAF General: A-10 Fleet Likely Done if Sequestration Continues

Sep. 17, 2013 - By BRIAN EVERSTINE – Defense News


The A-10 will likely see its last flight if sequestration continues, the chief of US Air Combat Command said today.


The Air Force will be forced to look at cutting single-mission aircraft under continuing budget cuts because more savings will be realized by ending the full weapon system, including infrastructure and training, as opposed to cutting just squadrons. With the F-35 coming online to take over the close-air support role, the venerable Thunderbolt II will be a likely target, Gen. Mike Hostage told reporters at the Air Force Association's Air and Space Conference.


“This is not something I want to do,” Hostage said, explaining that no decisions had been made.


Hostage said he had already talked to Army officials about losing the A-10 and using other jets to take over the close-air support role. The Army was “not happy” about the possibility, Hostage said.


“I will not lose what we have gained in how we learned to support the Army,” Hostage said. “I had to make sure the Army understood that I am not backing away from the mission.”


Hostage said the service can do the close-air support role with the F-35, but it would be more expensive and “not as impressive” without the famous GAU-8 Avenger 30 millimeter gun.


“In a perfect world, I would have 1,000 A-10s,” Hostage said. “I can’t afford it. I can’t afford the fleet I have now. If I cut the fleet in half, do I save enough to get through this problem?


“My view is, while I don’t want to do it, I would rather lose the entire fleet and save everything I do in the infrastructure.”


Hostage’s comments follow similar statements from both acting Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh that single-mission aircraft would need to be cut if budgets continue to decrease.


“If we go into [fiscal year 2014] with sequestration still in effect, and we need to achieve those savings, you have to look at cuts,” Fanning said Monday. “You can’t get your money out of installations because they won’t support [base realignment and closure]. You can’t get money out of people fast enough. It takes about a year to get savings out of people."

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11 juillet 2013 4 11 /07 /juillet /2013 19:20
Chuck Hagel secrétaire américain à la Défense (Photo Glenn Fawcett DoD)

Chuck Hagel secrétaire américain à la Défense (Photo Glenn Fawcett DoD)

July 10, 2013 Source: US Department of Defense


WASHINGTON --- 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 to Senate leaders today.


The senators had requested detailed information on how continued sequestration could affect the military.


In the letter, Hagel detailed the “Plan B” the department must confront if Congress does not pass legislation that averts sequestration in fiscal 2014. If the process continues, DOD will be forced to cut $52 billion more from the budget that year.


Hagel stressed in the letter that he fully supports President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget request and noted that if sequestration remains in effect, “the size, readiness and technological superiority of our military will be reduced, placing at much greater risk the country’s ability to meet our current national security commitments.”


Congress gave DOD some flexibility to handle the cuts need for fiscal 2013, but more than 650,000 DOD civilians must still be furloughed without pay for 11 days. However, the cuts in 2014 are too great even for flexibility within accounts to handle.


DOD hopes to avoid furloughs in 2014, the defense secretary said, but if sequestration remains in effect, “DOD will have to consider involuntary reductions-in-force to reduce civilian personnel costs.”


Readiness has already been diminished this year, Hagel said, and it will continue to decline if sequestration continues in 2014. Hiring freezes will also continue and facilities maintenance funds will further erode, he added.


If the sequestration mechanism is applied to military personnel funding, “DOD could accommodate the required reductions only by putting into place an extremely severe package of military personnel actions including halting all accessions, ending all permanent-change-of-station moves, stopping discretionary bonuses and freezing all promotions,” Hagel wrote.


He called on Congress to work with the department to avoid sequestration in fiscal 2014 and to approve the president’s defense budget request.


The president’s budget request slows military pay raises and raises fees for some military retiree’s health care. It also looks to retire older Air Force and Navy assets and calls for a new base realignment and closure program.


“If the cuts continue, the department will have to make sharp cuts with far-reaching consequences, including limiting combat power, reducing readiness and undermining the national security interests of the United States,” Hagel said.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 06:20
AMRDEC conceptual renderings of potential future JMR configurations

AMRDEC conceptual renderings of potential future JMR configurations

Jun. 6, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG


Washington DC - EADS North America is withdrawing from the US Army's Joint Multi-Role/Future Vertical Lift (JMR/FVL) programme.


"We will withdraw from further consideration for the JMR/FVL concept development effort," writes Sean O'Keefe, chief executive officer of EADS North America in a letter addressed to Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the army for procurement. "We deeply regret the fiscal necessity to make this decision."


O'Keefe says that EADS faces financial constraints in light of the Congressional sequestration law that automatically cuts projected US defence outlays by 10% every year for 10 years and the implementation thereof.

UH-72A Lakota photo US Army

UH-72A Lakota photo US Army

Sequestration forced the army to reduce funding for the EADS UH-72A Lakota. The army had planned to buy 31 UH-72As in Fiscal 2014 and 10 the following year, but instead now plans to buy only 10 during the next fiscal year that begins on 1 October.


O'Keefe says that his company will focus its efforts on the army's armed aerial scout programme, however the service has yet to decide if it will proceed with that procurement.


Analyst Dan Goure of the Lexington Institute says that it makes perfect sense for a company like EADS to withdraw from the JMR/FVL project given that budgets are declining and there is uncertainty about how much money will be available going forward. "Why would a company put scarce talent, even if it was being paid fully for the effort-but the government wants them to put in their own money and effort-why would they do that when the chances are increasingly dim for any kind of production programme," he says.


Moreover, foreign-owned entities like EADS North America and AgustaWestland have not had experienced a positive track record in prior dealings with the Pentagon, Goure says. "So why spend the time, effort and money on a long-shot?" he asks.


But it will not just be foreign companies that opt out of bidding for US defence tenders as the flow of cash starts to ebb, even big US defense prime contractors may start carefully weighing the opportunity cost submitting a proposal to the Pentagon. "This I think is the leading edge," Goure says. "You're going to see this happen more and more and more from defence companies including US primes."


The bottom line is that in many respects the US government is an extremely demanding customer and the cost of doing business with it may simply not be worth it, Goure says. There are other business areas for companies to invest in that generate far better returns on the dollar, he says.

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16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 17:20
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13 janvier 2013 7 13 /01 /janvier /2013 12:20



Jan. 12, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG


Washington DC - Despite a declining budget, the US Air Force is committed to its secretive Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) programme. However, what kind of military capacity the service will be able to offer in the future is an open question.


"Long term, we're committed to the long range strike bomber," says USAF Secretary Michael Donley. "We're going to try to keep programmes like that on track. But every programme would be affected if sequestration were to hit."


Sequestration was originally scheduled to be enacted on 2 January, but a last minute deal reached between the Obama Administration and the US Congress delayed the maneuver by 51 days. If the Congressional sequestration were to be enacted, it would automatically cut US defence outlays immediately by about 10% every year for 10 years. "Sequestration is a self-inflicted wound on national security," says US Army Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "It's an irresponsible way to manage our nation's defense. It cuts blindly, and it cuts bluntly."


The Pentagon, in a memo issued by deputy secretary of defense Ashton Carter, has already taken steps to try to mitigate the damage by deferring maintenance and civilian personnel actions. But even if sequestration were to be avoided, analysts say that defence budget cuts are all but unavoidable given the massive hole in Washington's coffers.


In that eventuality, the Pentagon needs the ability to manage its finances in a strategic manner. "We need budget certainty; we need time to absorb the budget reductions; we need the flexibility to manage those reductions across the entire budget," Dempsey says.


Even with potential defence cuts, USAF leaders say that they know what the service will look like in the 2020s. "You can see what the Air Force will look like now in 2020 in terms of new capabilities coming onboard," Donley says. "The [Boeing KC-46] tanker will be fielded. The [Lockheed Martin] F-35 will be fielded. We'll be well along in the development of the bomber program. We will have developed further in the cyber area, for example. So you can see based on our priorities, and the dollars that are being invested now when these capabilities will deliver."


But Donley cautions: "But the underlying issue is size, overall capacity of the armed forces."

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