Budget Uncertainty Threatens Readiness
Budget uncertainty threatens readiness and training, underscoring the need for reliable funding for defense operations, the Pentagon's press secretary told reporters here today.
 
There have been warnings for some time indicating that readiness and training would suffer amid sequestration spending cuts and in the budget uncertainty of the last few years, Peter Cook said.

"Ultimately, there's a price to be paid for budget gridlock, particularly with the Department of Defense," he added.

The Defense Department's $582.7 billion budget request for fiscal year 2017 takes the needs of the services into account, Cook said, and it includes significant and aggressive investment in dealing with readiness issues. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has been vocal about the need for continued budget certainty and investments in modernization, force structure and readiness, Cook pointed out.
 
Improvements Won't Happen Overnight
The budget plan seeks to address readiness and training concerns in the "most effective and efficient way possible," Cook said. Moving forward will take time, using the resources the department has available, he added.

"We'd all like more money to try to address this right away overnight, but that's not the reality of the budget situation we're in," he told reporters.