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​Chief of Staff of the Air Force testifies before the House Armed Services Committee on April 5, 2017. Screenshot photo.

​Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and the three other service chiefs again warned Capitol Hill against passing a long-term continuing resolution, saying it would do serious damage to the services, personnel, and readiness. “It’s unfortunate that we are now discussing the potential of yet another extended continuing resolution, which is the equivalent of a mini sequestration round, which we have already been through before,” Goldfein told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. “You see, in the Air Force we still haven’t recovered from round one. Failing to pass an appropriations bill will cost the Air Force $2.8 billion in the remaining five months of 2017.” This shortfall would force us to stop flying in late June, save for the squadrons either in contingency operations or preparing to deploy to fight. By the end of the year, the Air Force would be short some 1,000 fighter pilots, he said. This would mean about $10 billion of investment into the pilots would walk out of the door “and it would take us 10 years to replace that experience,” he said. “Of all the things that we can do to retain pilots, the most important is to get them airborne.” In addition to this, more than 2,000 people who signed up to join the Air Force would not be allowed to enter the service until appropriations is passed, he said. “They come from each of your districts,” Goldfein told the committee. “They have given up jobs, left home, made plans, all to be told they will have to wait now for months to pursue their dream.”