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Several F-16 Fighting Falcon’s from the 388th Fighter Wing sit on the flightline Sept. 9, 2013, at Hill AFB, Utah. For more than three months, sequestration created many challenges for the fighter wing, including one F-16 squadron completely stood down and its sister-squadron forced to fly with drastically reduced hours. Air Force photo by Desiree N. Palacios.

​Stateside bases could become a “no fly zone” if the Air Force can’t get some predictability to its budget, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said Thursday. Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., Goldfein said the prospect of a year-long continuing resolution—instead of an enacted budget—poses grave problems for the service. “It’s a $1.3 billion bill,” Goldfein said. “I won’t have the people I need, … depot lines will stop, … I won’t be able to hire maintainers, … I get no relief” from the readiness problems plaguing the service. “There is no enemy on the planet than can do more damage to the United States Air Force than us not getting a budget,” he said. Goldfein said the Air Force provides basic enabling capabilities that the country—and frequently the other services—take for granted, much as they assume lights will come on if a switch is flicked. “If we don’t put resources against the missions” the Air Force performs “under the radar,” he said. “Those lights won’t go on.”