Thursday, November 24, 2011

Note from AFA President -- Dover, Sequester, Thanksgiving

AFA Members, Congressional Staffers, Civic Leaders, DOCA Members, 

Last week AFA held its Global Warfare Symposium in LA. We had some great speakers - to include Secretary of the Air Force Donley, Vice Chief of Staff General Breedlove, Gen Shelton, Lt Gen James and others. We will be putting transcripts of the speeches on our website … but there were several which brought out great points.

Secretary Donley addressed the issue with the Air Force Mortuary Affairs operation at Dover. He called this a violation of a “sacred trust” and that he and General Schwartz take full responsibility and take corrective action is well underway. Addressing the “Super Committee”, he thinks there will be some serious rethinking of service expenditures in the coming years, especially if the Budget Control Act's sequester mechanism takes effect. However, he said he doubts that any solution would involve the services taking a blanket meat cleaver-style uniform cut without consideration of strategy and goals. [He also said the AF share of the budget was 21% -- a number that surprised many.] You can find the transcript here at

Gen Breedlove’s talk centered on the upcoming budget challenges facing the Air Force. He said the Air Force is planning for far deeper cuts resulting in a smaller Air Force and will put the nation “at a significant level of risk.” Sequester would compel the Air Force to cut, even further, … meaning contracts would be broken, missions would have to be looked at and base closings may have to be undertaken.

The rest of the speeches will be put on our website next week - probably mid-week. Check our website at: then click the Global Warfare Symposium button on the right side of the home page.

Finally, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, we need to remember the sacrifices of our great Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and civilians serving in harm's way - protecting our freedom. There has been a lot happening in the world of late, a military drawdown and uncertainty in Iraq and Afghanistan, a war in Libya, unrest in Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria. Our young men and women are there on the tip of the spear ready to serve. Let’s not forget them this day and those returning from the fight who need our help as they transition back to civilian life. Let’s also remember our wounded warriors who need our help to repair their lives as they move on as they have made the sacrifice that makes such days as Thanksgiving possible.

For your consideration,


Michael M. Dunn

Air Force Association

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