Pentagon Releases Further Sequestration Guidance

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced plans to pare back the service’s operations, investments and deployments Saturday. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced plans to pare back the service’s operations, investments and deployments Saturday. Defense Department

Across-the-board spending reductions from sequestration will necessitate cutbacks to many Pentagon programs, including support for tuition assistance, congressional travel, bonuses for civilian employees and military entertainment, Defense Comptroller Robert Hale said Tuesday.

In a memo obtained by Government Executive, Hale told senior Pentagon leaders that that the changes would be necessary to help the Defense Department cope with the cuts “levied by sequestration.”

One area facing major cutbacks is support for travel by congressional delegations. Hale said the use of military aircraft would be restricted if commercial options were available. He also said that organizations would “need to ensure” that travel by members of Congress and staff sponsored by the Defense Department “bears a substantial relationship to programs or activities of DoD and is not solely for the purpose of engendering goodwill or obtaining possible future benefits.”

Other areas facing immediate cutbacks include tuition assistance programs and bonuses for civilians. The news about bonuses is not surprising; Office of Management and Budget Controller Danny Werfel said in a memo last week that this was one area that would be targeted if sequestration were to occur.

Major areas of the military’s entertainment and public affairs apparatus also are being curtailed. Demonstration flying in air shows -- such as the Navy’s Blue Angels --  is to be immediately shut down on April 1.  Military bands will be forbidden from travelling outside of the area of their duty stations, except in situations where all transportation, lodging and other costs were paid by a sponsoring organization, the memo said.

Hale’s memo follows guidance issued by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on Saturday, when he announced plans to pare back the service’s operations, investments and deployments in the wake of across-the-board cuts from sequestration.

Mabus told the service that officials would “commence some reductions,” including shutting down a carrier air wing in April, deferring humanitarian deployments abroad, canceling the deployment of six ships and bringing several ships back to homeport.

He also said that they would begin negotiations to reduce investments in some areas, including in the Virginia Class submarines, reactor power units and the Joint High Speed Vessel. Mabus added that the service would slow the Marine Corp’s depot maintenance, including a reduction in the temporary workforce.  

“These actions are being taken to preserve support for those forces stationed overseas and currently forward deployed,” Mabus wrote. “We made these choices carefully, while trying to preserve our ability to reverse or quickly restore negative effects if and when funding is restored.”

The Navy also noted on Monday that civilian furloughs could cause financial hardship for many workers, which may inadvertently impact their security clearances. Officials told workers to take advantage of Employee Assistance Programs, and noted that many of the security officers in charge of maintaining clearances also would be affected by the furloughs. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.