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Budget Delay—Costly, Inefficient, and Irresponsible: Defense Department acquisition chief Ashton Carter on Wednesday pressed Congress to complete defense appropriations legislation for the current fiscal year, asserting that "anti-efficient" delays are driving up DOD's acquisition costs. "It's Feb. 16, and we don't have an appropriations bill for the department for Fiscal 2011," said Carter during a speech at Aviation Week’s defense conference in Washington, D.C. He added, "Each and every program manager in the department is having to upset carefully calibrated plans, stop or slow activities, only to start them later." Grinding on under a continuing resolution is an "inefficient and uneconomical," said Carter. Properly equipping troops in Afghanistan and addressing critical operational requirements remains "job number one" for DOD. "But the first step is to obtain funds," he said, noting that there is gear he'd like to be able to deliver to troops in Afghanistan "as the fighting season heats up again." (AFPS report by Jim Garamone)