Nearly a full month into the new fiscal year, the Department of Defense continues to operate without an approved budget, limiting the Pentagon’s ability to manage contracts, and hindering maintenance and training initiatives needed to save lives.
The longer the continuing resolution replaces a budget, the more damaging it is to DoD,” Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White told reporters on Thursday. “We hope the Congress can pass an FY18 budget before Dec. 8, when the continuing resolution ends,” she added.
Four high-profile incidents involved American warships within the past twelve months served to highlight the combination of high operational tempo and the Navy’s failure to schedule and execute necessary training for its sailors; the result of which served not only to embarrass the nation on the global stage, but cost the lives of American sailors.
The Marine Corps was also forced to engage in a “24-hour operational pause” earlier this year, and multiple incidents involving Marine Corps aircraft demanded a similarly critical look at how operations such as planning, maintenance, and training were being conducted. Like the Navy, the Marine Corps’ crashes drew concern and criticism from other nations’ governments, with Japanese officials going so far as to request a halt to Osprey flights over their nation, despite having ordered a fleet of Ospreys themselves. Unfortunately, like the Navy, these tragic incidents also resulted in the loss of American service member’s lives.