Browsing: Budget

Sailors and their families have grown accustomed to Washington, D.C., showdowns. But this latest one may be the gravest, as the shuttered American government lurches closer to a possible default on its national debt – now about 12 hours away. A default imperils the government’s ability to pay its bills, including military pay and veterans’ benefits. Economists believe it will throw the world economy into a crisis, as the U.S. is the world’s largest economy and holds the largest debt. And long term it would likely diminish the military’s size and power, as the nation would no longer be able…

[HTML1] Vice Adm. Bill Moran took command Aug. 2 as your new chief of naval personnel. He’s taking the reins at an uneasy time for Navy manpower. In a short video posted today, Moran acknowledges as much to sailors: “We are in the midst of a challenging operational and fiscal environment,” Moran says. “And as I take the watch, my staff and I are determined to communicate with you, hear what we know, and in some cases, what we don’t know.” Unfortunately, there are a lot of those unknowns right now. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, successfully raised eyebrows last week…

As many in the fleet found out last week, the Navy is serious about penny-pinching. The Navy’s No. 2 officer ordered all commanding officers and senior enlisted to stop using appropriated money to purchase command coins, those treasured tokens that are practically synonymous with command. It also bars them from buying plaques, ball caps and other souvenirs given to sailors and civilians alike. To be sure, skippers can still use official representation funds, earmarked for banquets, or pay out of their own pocket. Not surprisingly, the Navy’s cutbacks have made command coin dealers gloomy about sales through the rest of…

It took late-night TV legend David Letterman about 50 seconds to do what loads of PowerPoint presentations, deployment-schedule shifts and turn-down-that-thermostat directives couldn’t: Solve the Navy’s budget mess. The fix involves overweight comedian Louie Anderson in a wet suit. Which doesn’t come up in any of those Navy PowerPoints. Not even in the footnotes. The “Late Show” weapons initiative has to be seen to be appreciated; click this link for video or skip to the 1:05 mark in the clip below. Letterman’s no stranger to military strategy at its highest levels. And he’s good with the enlisted side, too, as…

The Blue Angels may be hiring, but for the rest of the year, they won’t be flying. All remaining performances on the 2013 schedule have been canceled, according to a release posted Tuesday on the Flight Demonstration Squadron’s website. And while the release says the unit “will continue to train to maintain flying proficiency until further notice,” a report from AL.com citing an email from the group’s events coordinator says public practices at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla., also have been called off. Cuts to the team’s performance schedule have been part of the Navy’s budget-cut plans for months, triggering…

Congress is taking a vacation next week — on the eve of what’s been called the biggest potential fiscal disaster to hit the nation in decades, when massive, across-the-board budget cuts begin wreaking havoc on the Pentagon and all other federal agencies. Talk about whistling past the graveyard. The sequestration ax adds big drama to this particular hiatus. But it’s hardly unusual for House and Senate lawmakers; the congressional work schedule has withered on the vine for years. At this writing, there have been 32 regular “workdays” so far this year — Monday through Friday, federal holidays excluded. The House…

The U.S. budget battle threatens to put a serious crimp in Pentagon spending. But when the dust settles somewhat, here’s guessing the Navy will likely still be able to defend the nation’s coastlines and meet most of today’s overseas commitments. But budget cuts and the strain of the war in Libya have already left cash-strapped Great Britain unable to provide the single warship that normally stands by in case of a terrorist attack or other home front threat, as this sobering news clip from London’s Telegraph newspaper makes clear …

The Navy is about to start seeing significant reductions in spending for operations and maintenance, spare parts, new ships and aircraft, research and development, and personnel, all essentially the result of a flagging U.S. economy. In the new Navy Times, analysts and insiders assess the areas at risk, while readers offer suggestions on what they’d cut if they could be king for a day. What sort of changes are they talking about inside the Pentagon? Try eliminating the scheduled 2016 nuclear refueling of the aircraft carrier George Washington, commissioned in 1992. How would readers save? Stop the perpetual uniform and…

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