Combat Air Forces has restored its flying hours program after grounding units for three months due to budget cuts, Air Combat Command’s public affairs office announced Monday.
According to the report, operations have resumed and will run until October 1 using funds from a Congress-approved $1.8 billion reprogramming allocation, which also reinstitutes fleet training and testing of ACC commands as well as CAF units overseas.
“Returning to flying is an important first step, but what we have ahead of us is a measured climb to recovery,” ACC Commander Gen. Mike Hostage was quoted as saying, noting that the flying hours are only assured for fiscal 2013.
“(For fiscal 2014 and beyond) budget uncertainly makes it difficult to determine whether we’ll be able to sustain a fully combat-ready force,” he added.
Hostage also noted that the restoration, which included the Air Warfare Center’s Weapons School, Aggressors and the Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team, might compromise the Air Force’s effectiveness in the long run.
“We are using investment dollars to pay current operational bills, and that approach is not without risk,” he said.