HomeNewsArticle Display

CSAF to Airmen: We'll get through sequestration together

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody deliver their keynote speeches as the opening of Air Force Association's Aerospace and Technology Exposition in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 21, 2013.  Welsh's "State of the Air Force" discussion highlighted Airmen and the impact the possible sequestration may have on them.  Cody talked about (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III delivered a letter to Airmen regarding sequestration March 1, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

WASHINGTON -- To the Airmen of the United States Air Force:

March is here, and unfortunately, so is sequestration...that means the entire Department of Defense, including our Air Force, will experience about a nine percent budget cut across all programs--starting now, and with no ability to adjust which accounts those cuts come from.

Some of our flying units will start to cut back on training immediately to protect the readiness of units scheduled to deploy and those with key mission responsibilities. Unless something changes, in about six weeks you'll notice the civilian Airman you rely on every day forced to accept unpaid leave for one day a week through the end of the Fiscal Year. We'll also be forced to delay some number of aircraft and engine depot inductions, causing aircraft availability and reliability issues, along with impacts to the small businesses that support our depots. And we'll have to delay construction projects, from airfield repairs and energy programs to the planned upgrade of your dormitory or housing area. The impacts of sequestration will be noticeable, they'll likely affect you, and, in some areas, they'll hurt our mission in a big way. But we'll hang together and get through this...and hopefully our nation's leaders can reach agreement and get things back on a more even keel soon. We'll keep you informed as this moves forward.

CMSAF Cody and I just returned from a seven-base tour of the CENTCOM AOR, where we got to meet a lot of you and watch you thrive in some tough environments. We met Airmen like SrA Alexia Briant, a war reserve med tech, who helps save lives every day by making sure your first aid kits have everything they need. We met SrA Muhamed Mehmedovic, a transportation journeyman inspired to serve by airdrops of aid his family received in Bosnia when he was just six years old. And we met Airmen like Lt Col Kat Lilly, commander of the 802nd Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, who's helped train a new generation of Afghan pilots and maintainers, including their first fixed-wing male and female pilots in over thirty years.

Amazing stories! Just like yours. I'm blown away every time I hear 'em. Besides inspiring and motivating me, they also assure me we can get through the turmoil of sequestration. You do the impossible every day; you'll keep things on track during this tough time. Our job is to continue to provide at least some level of the Global Vigilance, Global Reach and Global Power America expects. The resource shortfall won't make it easy, but we'll get it done.

In my last letter, I promised you a CSAF Vector to outline some of the key areas I think we should focus on over the next year. During our CORONA conference last week, the Secretary, MAJCOM Commanders and I refined some of those ideas--I'll get the Vector out soon.

Thanks again for all you do. Do me a favor and pat yourself on the back...you ROCK! As always, it's an honor to stand beside you.

USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.