breaking news

Severe T-storm watch, wind advisory in effect 

More cuts loom, but immediate layoffs not likely

Layoffs during current fiscal year might cost more than it saves, analyst says


The looming threat of another round of budget sequester cuts could mean more civilian worker furloughs and a continued hiring freeze at Wright-Patterson, but layoffs in the next fiscal year aren’t likely, a defense analyst said Thursday.

Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, D.C., said military personnel are exempt from sequestration cuts under the federal budget, but the civilian workforce isn’t.

“For civilian personnel, there would likely be furloughs again and they would probably continue the hiring freeze that’s already been in effect,” he said. “But at this point in the fiscal year it would be difficult for them to do layoffs of civilians because there are actually costs involved with letting people go so they might not even end up saving money. …

“If you’re going to do layoffs of civilians, they should have started that process already for it to make sense financially,” Harrison said.

If sequestration continues, Wright-Patterson could see deep “draconian” cuts, said Michael Gessel, Dayton Development Coalition vice president of federal programs.

The White House has requested a $114.1 billion Air Force budget this fiscal year. Sequestration cuts have targeted roughly 10 percent across the board reductions. Another round could happen in mid-January, when a continuing budget resolution expires.

Long-term research and development and education represent two vulnerable areas, Gessel said. “I don’t know the specifics, but when we’re facing budget cuts of this magnitude, our greatest concern starts with those programs that do not provide an immediate payoff for the Air Force or do not directly involve the immediate support of warfighting efforts,” he said.

Further cuts, Harrison said, would strain the Air Force’s three top acquisition priorities: the KC-46 aerial tanker, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and a new long-range strike bomber.

“They could slow down procurement of the bomber,” he said.

The Department of Defense research budget, a major priority at the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson, which employs thousands, has dropped 25 percent in the past three years, a historical trend following post-wartime draw downs since World War II, he said. But he speculated cuts to research have reached the bottom. Beyond that, he said, “I think we’re treading on precarious ground.”

The Air Force has not projected what another sequestration cut would mean, said Capt. Erika Yepsen, an Air Force spokeswoman. “Everything at this point hinges on what Congress decides to do and when they give us a budget,” she said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Military

Wright Patt, defense firm work to protect weapons from cyber threats
Wright Patt, defense firm work to protect weapons from cyber threats

The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a $47.9 million contract to a defense contractor to explore ways to protect weapon systems from cyber attacks, according to the Department of Defense. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., which has an office in the Dayton region, will research the problem at Wright-Patterson, the Defense Department reported...
Cottrel: Clark County veterans honored to serve, be recognized
Cottrel: Clark County veterans honored to serve, be recognized

Last weekend I was impressed by all the special events surrounding Veterans Day. There were so many and they were well done. When I was growing up, Veterans Day was kind of a quiet holiday. I remember the red paper poppies that were sold and all the reminders of World War I. After all, the end of “The Great War” was on the 11th day of the...
Loud noise from fighter jets could be heard this week
Loud noise from fighter jets could be heard this week

F-16 fighter jets are set to launch through Ohio’s skies on night training missions this week. The Ohio Air National Guard jets with the 180th Fighter Wing will launch Monday through Thursday during the training exercise, according to the Toledo-based unit. RELATED: Russian surveillance jet flying out of Wright-Patterson The flights are weather...
$115K in veterans scam funds seized goes to Honor Flight Dayton
$115K in veterans scam funds seized goes to Honor Flight Dayton

Honor Flight Dayton is one of several Oho veterans groups to be awarded grants from nearly $1 million seized from a veterans charity scam. Ohio Attorney Gen. Mike DeWine announced the grants Saturday on Veterans Day. “We worked hard to ensure this money would be used as originally intended -- to help veterans,” DeWine said. “Bobby...
Vandalia Pearl Harbor survivor celebrates 100th birthday at VFW
Vandalia Pearl Harbor survivor celebrates 100th birthday at VFW

A Vandalia Pearl Harbor survivor celebrated his belated 100th birthday on Veterans Day. Frank Ruby woke up to the Japanese attack on Dec. 7, 1941. Although his birthday is Nov. 1, family and friends thought it would be fitting to celebrate the veteran and all the other American heroes Saturday at the VFW on Wilmington Pike. “They give their lives...
More Stories