Service Chiefs Link Budget Instability to Military Readiness Gaps

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army stock photoThe service chiefs of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force have said budget uncertainty is one of the primary challenges to efforts to maintain military readiness, DoD News reported Thursday.

Cheryl Pellerin writes Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley appeared with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson and Robert Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, before the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday to testify about their services’ budgetary challenges.

Milley told the Senate panel that the Army needs stable funding to sustain current military operations and deploy a ready ground force as well as maintain its counterinsurgency and counterterrorist capabilities, the report said.

He also requested for resources to support modernization efforts in the areas of aviation, combat vehicles, integrated air and missile defense, emerging threat initiatives and command-and-control networks.

Goldfein said that the Air Force needs to maintain budget stability to support recapitalization programs for F-35 fighter jet, KC-46 tanker and B-21 bomber aircraft in order to maintain the service branch’s technological edge, Pellerin reports.

Richardson told the Senate committee that the Navy faces three major challenges and these include high demand for naval forces, reduced resource levels and financial uncertainty driven by eight years of continuing resolutions.

Neller also testified about gaps in military readiness and budgetary concerns within the Marine Corps, according to the report.

“Current readiness shortfalls in aviation, facilities sustainment, future modernization, retention of critical skills and building the depth on our ready bench forces at home are our primary concerns,” he said.

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