Air Combat Command
officials restored an estimated $201 million to its flying hour
program July 1 after receiving additional funds from Air Force
Air Force officials approved the restoration which will help
alleviate the loss of readiness resulting from the $272 million,
31,349-hour cut announced earlier this year, said Maj. Dean Gould,
ACC flying hour program chief.
Air Force officials had approved the earlier cuts to meet budget
shortfalls and help cover expenses incurred from the war on
terrorism. Those cuts represented about 60 percent of the remaining
planned flight hours for the year.
With the new funding, units are restoring their flying hours for
July, August and September. The command is now targeting a stop-fly
date of Sept. 26 for the fiscal year, officials said.
"Restoring ACC's flying hours for the next three months is a key
readiness issue as we continue to provide forces for the war on
terrorism," said Maj. Gen. Kenneth M. “Mike” DeCuir,
ACC’s air and space operations director.
"With this additional funding, we are able to ensure we maintain
combat readiness for all operations at home and abroad."
The reprogramming of
funds back into the flying hour program brings the actual cuts for
this fiscal year down to $100 million and equates to about 11,000
hours, Major Gould said. Those numbers are based on hours not flown
May 15 to July 1.
Even though ACC recovered about 20,300 hours, the major said the
refund is limited. If the cost per flying hour goes up, the result
would be a decrease in the number of hours available for the
remainder of this year. As such, command officials are continuing
their efforts to maximize every available hour.
"Flexibility and patience will ensure we reach our training and
budget goals," the major said. [ANN Salutes Senior Airman Amy
Robinson, Air Combat Command Public Affairs]