“Air Force leadership strongly supports Secretary Gates’ efficiency efforts announced today. Our nation and this department are facing fiscal challenges and growing operating expenses for fuel, maintenance, health care, salaries and training. Fiscal responsibility is a national security imperative. At the same time, the Department of Defense and the Air Force continue to be called upon to succeed in today’s fights and to protect America’s interests from an array of challenges in the years to come. Continuing to invest in the warfighting capabilities needed to accomplish these missions requires aggressive efforts to identify and achieve efficiencies.
“The Air Force identified approximately $34 billion in efficiencies attainable over five years. We aggressively built upon initiatives already underway internally and benchmarked our operations against best practices in industry and other federal agencies. We are committed to a deliberate and ongoing process to enhance capabilities by reducing overhead and support functions and shifting resources to warfighter and readiness programs.
“These efforts will enable the reallocation of resources into warfighting capabilities, such as the development of a new long-range, penetrating bomber. A key piece of a family of systems, it will provide integrated global power, deterrence and freedom of action for the joint force. Leveraging proven technologies and streamlining program management during development, the Air Force will ensure the new bomber can be delivered before our current fleet goes out of service.
“Additionally, savings from efficiency efforts are being invested in more remotely piloted aircraft and in transferring essential Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance systems from the temporary war budget to permanent budgets, ensuring these ISR assets become enduring Air Force capabilities. The Air Force also plans to implement more efficient procurement for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle to provide reliable access to space for military and government agencies while sustaining the nation’s space industrial base. Efficiency efforts will also fund modernization of F-15 radars, keeping this system viable well into the future. Additionally, efficiency savings will fund acquisition of additional aircrew training simulators for the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter -- an indication of continued Air Force commitment to this critical program.
“These efforts build on previous initiatives, and demonstrate our commitment to the people and resources entrusted to the Air Force. There is much work still to be done, and the Air Force will work hard to ensure these efficiencies are implemented effectively while continuing to evaluate additional opportunities going forward. In doing so, we will continue to rely on the tremendous culture and spirit of innovation engrained in our airmen.”