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Mark Welsh: Air Force Budget Cuts Must be Aimed at Personnel, Bases

WelshThe top U.S. Air Force general plans to reduce personnel and real estate properties if Congress allows him to handle the proposed Pentagon funding cuts of $1 trillion over 10 years, Military Times reported Monday.

The website cited a Colorado Springs Gazette interview with Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh saying the cuts happening across the board are a “bad business model.”

Approximately $500 billion was cut as part of former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ plan in 2008 to reduce wartime budget with another $500 billion to be cut by Congress as part of the sequestration budget agreement, the report said.

The second round of budget cuts provides no control over what aspect of the force gets reduced, according to the report.

“We need help in planning for the future. We can adjust to any reality once we have a reality,” Welsh said.

Welsh said in the report he plans to trim personnel and the expenses for the 327,000 Air Force servicemen, which currently amounts to approximately 55 percent of the total budget.

Military Times reports the general intends to examine the number of Air Force bases as well, which have not been evaluated since the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure.

Based on the report, Welsh said the trimmed Air Force will still conduct the usual aerial missions but he plans to develop the force’s capabilities in computer warfare including research on miniaturization, directed energy weapons and hypersonic abilities.

“Science and technology is important to a force that was born from technology,” Welsh said in the report.

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