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Feb. 22, 2013—
Regardless of whether sequestration kicks in on March 1, a solution is reached, or the budget issue is simply delayed yet again, Air Combat Command is likely to move to a state of tiered readiness, ACC boss Gen. Mike Hostage told the Daily Report on Feb. 21.

This will ensure that at least a portion of the force remains combat capable as funds continue to dwindle in Fiscal 2013, he said during an interview at AFA's Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.

"The concept of tiered readiness is to have a certain amount of the force that is ready to go at a moment's notice and then other portions of my force that are at lower levels of readiness," said Hostage.

"What will happen is when one of my units comes back from the combat theater, [it] will stand down because I don't have the flight hours, . . . the weapon system sustainment to support fixing the airplanes, [or] the training ranges to train" the unit's members, he said.

Those units will then remain "dormant" until they once again are tapped for a combat operation or a named operation, said Hostage.

Although the exact number of units affected won't be clear until Congress decides how or if it will resolve the current budget continuing resolution and/or the sequester, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has said the number likely will amount to more than 50 percent of combat air forces.

"The problem is, it's not like my maintenance folks will be able to go out there and tweak airplanes and make them fully 'up' because we won't have the parts, we won't have the equipment, . . . [and] the depots will be cut like everything else" under sequestration, said Hostage.

He added, "The list of what can be done on March 1 will vary, but it's all going to be very dramatic."