Senior aviation officials from all four branches testified before Congress on Thursday to emphasize the need for budget certainty in the future in order to maintain America’s combat readiness in the skies.
Over the past ten years of combat operations, the Department of Defense has been forced to continue operations under what’s called “continuing resolution” for over a thousand days and counting. This occurs when the federal government fails to pass a defense budget before the fiscal year it funds. This year, the United States has once again crossed into new fiscal years without funding the defense infrastructure, halting forward progress and hindering overall readiness.
Army Maj. Gen. William K. Gayler, commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and of Fort Rucker, Alabama; Lt. Gen. Mark C. Nowland, Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations; Lt. Gen. Steven R. Rudder, Marine Corps deputy commandant for aviation; and Navy Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander of Naval Air Forces all appeared before the House Committee on Armed Service’s readiness subcommittee to make a plea for an increased, but more importantly, consistent level of funding in order to prevent America’s military readiness issues from compounding into a significant threat to our nation’s defense.
“Every hour of every day, airmen support homeland defense, deter aggression from abroad and provide a robust and reliable nuclear deterrent,” Nowland told lawmakers, “However, the Air Force is quickly approaching an inflection point.”