U.S. Military a No-show At 2013 Paris Air Show

Paris Air Show » 2013
Su-35
Russian aviation will make a splash at this year’s Paris Air Show with the fourth-generation-plus Su-35 multirole fighter flying unrivaled by anything comparable from the U.S. military.
June 17, 2013, 1:00 PM

Russian aviation will make a splash at this year’s Paris Air Show with the fourth-generation-plus Su-35 multirole fighter flying unrivaled by anything comparable from the U.S. military. In fact, there will be no U.S. government-owned military airplanes either flying or on static display because of the automatic “sequestration” budget cuts roiling the Pentagon. This is the first time since 2001 that a Russian fighter will take part in the Paris flying display and the first time that a U.S. fighter is absent from the event since 1991.

The budget-cutting process took effect on March 1 after political parties in the U.S. Congress failed to agree on measures to reduce the national debt. Some $85 billion in spending authority must be reduced across all government agencies by the end of the fiscal year on September 30, divided roughly between civil agencies and the Department of Defense (DOD). If the parties fail to change or reverse the process, sequestration will require similar annual cuts through 2021.

When sequestration became law, the DOD canceled the participation of military aircraft at air shows, flyovers and public events across the U.S., and now internationally.

“The impact of sequestration has placed enormous pressure on U.S. Air Force operations, and we have implemented a number of measures to assure we can meet our commitments to ongoing operations around the world while preserving readiness to support other contingencies,” Air Force spokesman Lt. Col John Dorrian said in a statement sent to AIN. “As a result of sequestration, approximately one-third of our active duty combat-coded fighter squadrons have stopped flying, we have reduced weapons system sustainment for more than 30 types of aircraft and we’ve notified more than 170,000 Air Force civilian employees that they will be subject to furlough for up to 11 days. In addition, the Air Force has cut back participation in hundreds of public events, including the Paris Air Show.”

The French aerospace industries association GIFAS, which organizes the Paris Air Show, confirmed that the DOD will not provide aircraft for either the aerial demonstrations or for static display. But GIFAS noted there will be “huge participation by American industry,” exceeding that of the 2011 airshow. The U.S. Pavilion in Hall 3 lists 193 participating exhibitors, and the U.S. Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) has a chalet (Static I, 502).

“It was very unfortunate that DOD was unable to send aircraft to the Paris Air Show as a result of sequestration budget cuts,” AIA president and CEO Marion Blakey told AIN. “As the oldest and largest airshow in existence, Paris is an important opportunity for industry to work with our government partners to showcase the best aerospace and defense products in the world.

“However, industry is doing its best to bridge the gap by bringing a number of unmanned aircraft systems to display. But that effort has been greatly complicated by the late timing of DOD’s announcement, licensing restrictions and the reduced footprint of our U.S. government partners. We sincerely hope that sequestration is overturned and DOD is able to take advantage of this unique opportunity in the future.”

Senior Boeing executives said here in Paris yesterday that they were disappointed that the DOD had not provided aircraft for the show. But they said that government and armed forces officials were still fully supporting the company’s export drives. “In fact, their FMS involvement with us is at an all-time high,” said Chris Raymond, v-p business development and strategy for Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS). Jeff Kohler, vice-president international business development, said: “It doesn’t affect our ability to sell–our diaries for the week ahead are pretty full.” But, he added: “I hope the policy changes in time for the Dubai and Singapore shows, where we need aircraft present more than we do here.”

Last week, the DOD released a budget reprogramming report to Congress with details on how $37 billion in required reductions through sequestration affects fiscal year 2013 line-item appropriations. According to an AIA analysis of the report, the Pentagon’s procurement account is reduced by $9.5 billion, or 9.6 percent, and the research and development account by $6 billion, or 8.6 percent.

“The impacts of these cuts will be felt broadly across the economy, triggering layoffs and lost investment in industrial plant, training and research and development,” the association warned.

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Jay Trees
on June 18, 2013 - 12:01pm

Once again the administration has shown its pettiness, by cutting things it doesn’t like, (IE the military, border security and the like, but it has plenty of money to go on endless o bum a care promotional junkets, spying / harassment campaigns and taking golf lessons in Florida!!
Great Fiscal responsibility – assuming they even know what that means!!

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asalcido
on June 18, 2013 - 1:24pm

Jay blames the administration but it was the U.S. Congress that failed to agree on measures to reduce the national debt. What we need is responsible representatives to ensure that budgets get passed for the good of the country and not their personal agendas.

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Larry
on June 18, 2013 - 2:03pm

asalcido is correct. Thank you Congress for cutting recruiting for and promotion of the U.S. Air Force. These shows in the United States and abroad are tools to promote our wares, to make sales which makes for more jobs and money for citizens of this country. These shows are also recruiting tools for the young who come to these shows and decide this is what they want to do when they grow up.

By stopping participation in these air shows our country is losing money, jobs, new recruits and the future domination of air power. Thank you Congress for giving the advantage to all other aviation ready countries to become dominant in sales of combat related aircraft and for increasing the number of unemployed. Idiots!

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Pundit
on June 18, 2013 - 5:16pm

So, how much will the U.S. aerospace industry save by not having to pay for the DoD participation/presence on its behalf. Presumably such appearance around the world has a value to the OEMs and AIA; do they have to pay for that, or does Uncle Sam usually provide this valuable marketing/sales effort for free?
(Of course, we all understand that it's not government aid to industry...)

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HJohns
on June 18, 2013 - 5:18pm

Obviously others propose and Congress disposes (money). Look at what has NOT been proposed (budgets) for years and what has been sleight-of-hand proposed for spending (We must read it to know what's in it....) along with a myriad of other high-dollar, vote getting programs. The transparency this administration promised surfaces in the strangest places - actions, but not words.
I guess we have to pay attention to the executive orders and many actions - now manifested as wide-spread, despotic scandals.
As for Congress, at the end of the day they tend to reflect quite strongly exactly who elected them (e.g., Reid on gun control contra to his party). The other members for the most part are doing the same. Our many Representative and two-per state Senatorial voter bases do correlate highly with their 'agendas.' This is a Republic with representative democratic activities. The fly-over folks actually do get to speak out, whether the massive, urbane collectives approve or not. Great system in my view. Now if we could get a handle on the $132 trillion (a 'T') obligated but not revenue-source identified..... That would be nice.

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