Saturday, August 4, 2012

Note from AFA -- New CSAF, Sequestration and Defense Budget

Earlier this week, we officially said farewell to Mike Dunn as AFA's President and CEO. He served AFA and the nation superbly, and he will surely be missed. AFA's new president is set to take the reins 4 September 2012, but for the month of August I  will be Acting President and will carry on with the periodic updates from headquarters with "Notes from AFA."
This initiative was begun by Mike Dunn early in his five-year tenure, and we intend to continue them because the notes have allowed greater interaction and engagement with our members, supporters, partners and friends.  They have also served to highlight the most critical issues facing our Air Force and nation. With that said…
AFA congratulates General Mark Welsh on his confirmation as Air Force Chief of Staff.  We believe General Welsh is the right person to lead the Air Force through the difficult days ahead.
Recess for Congress starts next week, and we won't be expecting too much to come out of Washington. But there are a couple of legislative issues looming when Congress returns:
  1. Sequestration… Most recently, OMB said military personnel accounts would be spared the budget ax, which ultimately will result in even steeper cuts to other areas of the Pentagon budget. Every Service chief has gone on record to say that the effects of sequestration will be devastating, and AFA urges bipartisan agreement to prevent this clause of the Budget Control Act of 2011 from taking place.  
  1. Defense Budget: Earlier this week, Senate subcommittee put forward a Pentagon spending plan for FY13 that would set the base budget at $511 billion and would include $93 billion in OCO funds. Those figures are in line with DOD's budget request.  The bill rejects the Obama administration's proposed TRICARE fee hikes; reverses the Navy's plan to retire nine ships and funds the requested number of Joint Strike Fighters; provides an additional $180 million for efficient production of Air Force C-130Js; and provides $21.5 million to accelerate backup oxygen systems for the F-22 Raptor.
The decisions yet to be made in the coming months will affect how the USAF, and its sister Services, will be able to project US power in the years (and decades) to come. As this month progresses, we hope you lend your voices to the cause, contacting your local congressmen and women to protect the issues important to you and this nation. We will keep you updated with what we are doing here. 

David T. "Buck" Buckwalter
Acting President
Air Force Association

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