Worst First Approach to Dictate Facility Priorities under Air Forces FY17 Budget

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The fiscal 2017 budget request would require the Air Force to continue to accept risk in sustaining its installations, with emergency repairs taking priority over long-term facility needs.“That does push us into a strategy of worst first. We have a backlog of like $12 billion in facility restoration, modernization projects, so we are addressing the worst first,” Lt. Gen. John Cooper, the service’s deputy chief of staff for logistics, engineering and force protection, told the House Armed Services’ Readiness Subcommittee on Friday.“The worst first focuses around the mission. So unfortunately, quality of life is competing against mission requirements, and we are opting for our mission requirements,” he told the lawmakers.Funding for facilities sustainment would remain roughly stable under the service’s budget proposal for FY 2017, but the restoration and modernization accounts would fall, Cooper said. The budget calls for higher funding for Air Force construction projects, however. Military construction would rise from $1.6 billion in the current year to $2.0 billion in FY 2017, an increase of about $310 million.“The simple truth is there’s not enough money to go around,” he said. “At the funding level we are at, we have to focus on modernization and readiness.”A webcast of the hearing on the Air Force’s budget request and readiness posture is available on the committee website.last_img