Yet Brown, who appeared at the hearing alongside Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, said damage from imposing the same budget and its terms for another full year would cut even deeper.
The Air Force’s and Space Force’s highest ranking officers issued grim warnings to Congress Jan. 12, telling a House subcommittee that failing to approve a new spending plan for the current fiscal year would directly harm readiness, inhibit modernization and diminish the services’ capacity to confront emerging security threats.
Rolling over the current Air Force budget for another year, a practice known as a Continuing Resolution, or CR, “would stall much of the progress we are making towards today’s readiness and tomorrow’s modernization,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., told the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
“As much as a year-long Continuing Resolution affects our Air Force fiscally, the impact it has to our rate of change is more shattering,” he said in prepared remarks to the subcommittee. “All the money in the world cannot buy more time; time is irrecoverable, and when you are working to keep pace against well-resourced and focused competitors, time matters.”
Raymond offered a similar assessment.
“Under a yearlong CR, the Space Force would see impacts across our efforts to modernize our capabilities,” Raymond said, noting that “the largest impact” would be on the National Security Space Launch Program by cutting the number of launches from five to three.
“A yearlong CR would delay these [two] launches by one year, slowing our ability to place previously acquired systems on orbit, as well as deferring our ability to realize the benefit and cost-savings of NSSL Phase 2 launch services agreements,” Raymond said.
Michael McCord, the Defense Department’s comptroller and Chief Financial Officer, told lawmakers that a full year CR “would move us in the wrong direction and leave us stuck in the wrong place on multiple fronts.”
Renewing current spending for another year would also “affect resilient missile warning and missile tracking; space domain awareness to enable effective protect-and-defend architecture; protected satellite communications; and positioning, navigation, and timing systems that meet Joint warfighter needs in contested environments,” he said.