If you enter into discussions with anyone in the military/aerospace (mil/aero) community, you’ll likely hear “sequestration” more than once. Conversations among defense professionals today invariably touch on the topic, some even escalate into heated, impromptu debates.
Reactions and predictions on the topic of sequestration vary wildly among mil/aero professionals.
At a recent event in Washington, D.C., this geek purposefully broached the subject with a wide variety of defense folks—including military personnel, ranging from high-level chiefs of staff to lieutenants to recently deployed soldiers (or “boots on the ground” as they are often respectfully referred); mil/aero analysts and consultants; prime contractors and subcontractors; and component vendors, providing software and hardware technology, throughout the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain.
In general, military personnel were concerned about potential base closures and the threat of program cancellations. In some cases, dismounted soldiers in theater have been anxiously awaiting receipt of modern technologies to aid in their mission and help ensure their safety; mandatory and arbitrary cuts brought on by sequestration threaten “to effectively eradicate an entire generation of military modernization,” according to Buck McKeon, chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) offers a different outlook in its report pursuant to the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (P. L. 112–155). The report “makes clear that sequestration would have a devastating impact on important defense and non-defense programs. While the Department of Defense would be able to shift funds to ensure war fighting and critical military readiness capabilities were not degraded, sequestration would result in a reduction in readiness of many non-deployed units, delays in investments in new equipment and facilities, cutbacks in equipment repairs, declines in military research and development efforts, and reductions in base services for military families.”
A majority of political and financial analysts, and even President Obama, predict sequestration will not go into effect; rather, a resolution will be found and implemented by the end of the year. This geek is hopeful that they’re correct.