Earlier this month The Blaze published part one of the Heritage Foundation's three-part video series during “Protect America Month 2012,” profiling stories of courage that showcase why we must commit to protecting the United States in an increasingly dangerous world. In the first video, Iraq War veteran Col. Kerry Kachejian described making his way around Iraq at the height of the raging insurgency while driving in an unarmored SUV. The latest video features David A. Deptula, a retired three-star general, describing how fiscal contraints on the Department of Defense have left fighter jets in service more than twice as long as orignal designed for. A close example for Deptula is the F-15 he flew himself for the first time in 1977, that his son Lt. David A. Deptula II now flies at Kadena Air Force Base in Japan.
"We have really flown these aircraft well beyond what originally would be believed as their replacement lifetime,” Deptula said of the F-15s. “And now, because of some of the fiscal constraints that are being imposed on the Department of Defense, there is consideration being given to extending the lifetime even further.”
Fiscal constraints like the $492 billion of mandatory defense cuts on the horizon.
“I hear people talk about, well you know, the U.S. military spends more money than the next 17 nations combined,” Deptula said. “Well, the next 17 nations combined are not committed to maintaining peace and stability around the world. We are.”
The president’s final budget request of his first term calls for $1.2 trillion in automatic 10-year spending cuts, half of which come from military programs, to kick in next January unless the White House and Congress agree to alternative savings. On Friday House Republicans voted to authorize $642.5 billion in defense and war spending next year, defying the president's veto threat by exceeding his budget's Pentagon funding request by several billion dollars. Watch the latest installment of the Heritage Foundation series below: