AFA on the Issues
AFA is committed to advocating for the well-being of Airmen, every day. This means staying active on Capitol Hill and ensuring that the voice of our Air Force is heard. Throughout the year, the budget has been an ongoing topic of discussion for DOD leaders. Earlier this month, the Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on their Fiscal Year 2018 Budget. Secretary Wilson testified that her priorities lie in restoring readiness and focusing on modernization. Read more in AFA’s June Legislative Update, here. Last week, the Secretary and Chief testified before the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee. The focus was on munitions, modernization, F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Space, pilot shortage, readiness, KC-46A tankers, UH-1N helicopters and basing. In a familiar theme, Secretary Wilson stated, “We are too small for what the nation requires us to do.”
Continuing the Air Force’s budget conversation, Keith Zuegel, AFA Senior Director of Government Relations and Peter Huessy, Director of Strategic Deterrent Studies at the Mitchell Institute, recently published an op-ed in Defense News discussing the Air Force’s latest achievements, in light of recent financial constraints. “A force used so intensively the past 26 years starting with Desert Storm needs the resources to sustain it,” wrote Zuegel and Huessy. “Unfortunately, budget caps put in place in 2010 remain, causing a serious strain on the Air Force and an annual budget shortfall of nearly $11 billion.” Read how these challenges may greatly impact the Air Force’s ability to perform, here.
In a recent op-ed published in NewsOK, AFA Member Mark Tarpley further emphasizes the contrasting demands on the Air Force to both increase readiness and lethality, while functioning on a shoe-string budget. “Since its founding 70 years ago, the Air Force has been a leading edge of deterrence,” writes Tarpley. “But it has been engaged in nonstop combat operations for the past 26 years, and today is in high demand by our allies. This demand exceeds our capability to provide the air power and support they want.” Read the full article, here.