As we approach the automatic budget cuts slated to go into effect today, I would like to share some of my thoughts on how our command may be affected and how we will respond.
Our outstanding team of resource managers has tirelessly planned for these cuts, and we are prepared to implement them if necessary. Regardless of what happens in the next couple of weeks, we will remain responsive to the needs of our combatant commanders and we will meet all emerging requirements with the same poise and professionalism you routinely exhibit.
Nevertheless, it won’t be easy. As General Welsh has said, these cuts threaten to reduce our capability with swift and significant effect on our people, our readiness and on our infrastructure.
Across the command, we are looking at deferring training opportunities and much needed maintenance on everything from our aircraft to our buildings.
Our biggest challenge will be paying the bills generated from current and potential future operations on the two continents we support.
I want to be clear: We are continuing, and not just beginning, the critical task of shrewdly stewarding the resources we do have. Our nation faces a grave threat in its growing national deficit, and U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa is doing its part to help reduce this threat. We’ve curtailed the amount of travel we do to accomplish the mission and developed more efficient ways to provide base services.
Through all of this effort, my priorities remain the same: our mission, our Airmen and our families. USAFE-AFAFRICA Airmen have always been the key to delivering responsive, decisive airpower, and I am confident you will continue to meet new challenges, accomplish the mission and ensure the security of our great nation.