“We’re really trying to keep on protecting the country and delivering the defense under these circumstances,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on the PBS NewsHour Wednesday evening. “In some cases, that’s not going to be possible.” On March 1, assuming no White-House-congressional deal on a $1.2 trillion deficit reduction package over the coming decade, more than $500 billion in Pentagon cuts will kick in automatically, including a $46 billion cut between March 1 and October 1.
“Two-thirds of the Army active combat brigade teams, other than those that are currently deployed, would be at below acceptable levels of readiness,” Pentagon money chief Robert Hale said. “It could affect their ability to deploy to a new contingency, if one occurred, or if this goes on long enough, even to Afghanistan.”
Yet slightly more than an hour before Carter appeared on television, the Air Force slipped Lockheed Martin a little something extra to keep their fleet of F-22s flying:
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (FA8611-13-D-2850) with a ceiling of $6,900,000,000 for F-22 modernization…This award is a result of a sole source acquisition.