Charles Davis: Air Force Pilots to Fly, Train Less Under Sequestration

The Air Force has had to reduce the amount of hours pilots have to train due to sequestration’s impacts on the branch’s fiscal year 2013 and 2014 budgets and future years, a combat aviation official told House lawmakers Wednesdsay.

Lt. Gen. Charles Davis, the branch’s military deputy for the office of the assistant secretary for acquisition, told a House Armed Services subcommittee some units that have had to cease flying operations altogether as a result of the cuts, the Air Force News Service reported Monday.

“The loss of Air Force modernization will, over time, cost more taxpayer dollars to rectify by contractor restructures and increase in unit costs and delay in the delivery of capabilities to the warfighter,” Davis said to the subcommittee on tactical air and land forces.

Davis also told lawmakers the branch will probably delay the start of the F-16 combat avionics and enhancement systems programs.

Lawmakers also heard testimony from Lt. Gen. Burton Field, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements.

Burton told the subcommittee the branch has stopped stop flying 13 combat flying squadrons in a move aimed to emphasize commitments overseas.

“We prioritized our commitment to Afghanistan, we took our combatant command requirements against Pacific Air Forces and the Special Operations Command and tried to keep a fully-funded force in Korea,” he said.

“We also support the government of France in Africa and we’re looking to maintain our training pipeline for our new and senior aircrews,” he added.

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