Budget Challenges Vex Pacific Fleet
The U.S. Pacific Fleet will not be able to meet its mission priorities easily if any of a variety of pending budget cuts comes to pass, according to its commander. Adm. Cecil D. Haney, USN, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, told the Wednesday morning keynote audience at AFCEA/USNI West 2013 in San Diego that both the continuing resolution and sequestration offer distinct challenges to the fleet’s ability to meet its obligations amid the strategic rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific region.
The admiral notes that the continuing resolution has underfunded operation and maintenance by $3 billion. The nature of the continuing resolution limits the U.S. military’s ability to react to contingencies by not allowing the transfer of funds from different sources into operational accounts.
Sequestration is “a whole new ball game,” he said. It could bring an additional $4 billion to $5 billion in cuts this year alone. And, if both the continuing resolution and sequestration are coupled together, the result will be a true worst-case scenario.
The Pacific Fleet is trying to address its new mission areas, the admiral said. This includes an enhanced ability to operate in a contested environment with low-signature interoperability. It also includes being able to integrate data to deliver integrated fires rapidly.