Deale discusses sequester at AFA lunch

by Rebecca Burylo
Air University Public Affairs

3/21/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -  -- Brigadier Gen. Thomas Deale addressed the vitality of prioritizing military resources during the nation's state of sequestration at the annual Air Force Association luncheon March 15 at the Maxwell Club.

"We have to move forward for what is best for our nation and follow the right course for our nation's priorities and security requirements," said Deale, commandant of the Air Command and Staff College and vice commander of the Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education. "The biggest threat to our national security is our national debt."

Before coming to Maxwell in August 2012, Deale served as commander of the 455st Air Expeditionary Wing, Air Combat Command, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. A command and A-10 fighter pilot with over 3,000 flying hours, Deale has served in combat missions in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Southern Watch.

"Sequestration impacts the nation on a government level and an individual level," he said. "It's not something we started March 1. It's going to take some time and I know it's going to reach out and touch each and every one of us in a unique way. It affects every part of our government, not just the [Department of Defense]."

Deale said handling cutbacks and plans for civilian furloughs will not be an easy task, since the Air University relies heavily on civilian instructors. Leaders are still developing a plan to help resolve the issue. Spending less and prioritizing budget cuts are key components of the plan, which may not mean "doing the same with less," but just doing with less.

He pulled from his military experiences overseas to speak on the nation's economic state and how it directly impacts the war mission.

The state of the economy is dangerous not only for those stateside, but for outside the nation's borders as well with active combat continuing in such areas as Afghanistan, and the unrest in Syria, North Korea, the Persian Gulf and the cyber realm, he said.

Organizations, such as the AFA play an important role, Deale added, for disseminating such information to the public and making them aware of areas of conflict in the world and how government decisions can impact not only the economy, but the safety of the nation as well.

The AFA's mission is to educate the public about the critical role of aerospace power in the defense of the nation, advocates aerospace power and supports the United States Air Force, its family and aerospace education.

Deale also served tours at Maxwell's Air Force Doctrine Center (now the LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education), where he authored the Air Warfare, Counterland and Airspace Control doctrines, and the Joint Staff, where he directed South Korea policy for J-5, strategic plans and policies directorate. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and NATO Medal.