Air Force Academy expects 12 percent budget cut

DENVER — The Air Force Academy expects a budget cut of about $41 million, or 12.2, percent for the current fiscal year as the government tries to rein in spending, but school officials say overall academics won’t suffer.

West Point expects a much smaller cut, but accurate comparisons are difficult because of differences in the way each school’s budget is compiled.

Naval Academy officials declined to release budget projections but said they don’t expect a big difference from last year.

Congress hasn’t passed a defense appropriations bill for the current fiscal year, which started in October, so administrators at the service academies don’t know what their exact budget number will be. Like other agencies whose appropriations haven’t been approved, the academies operate under temporary spending authorization from Congress called a continuing resolution.

Jennifer Talhelm, a spokeswoman for Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said this week it’s unclear when a defense appropriations bill might pass or whether another continuing resolution will be required. Udall is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Air Force officials in Washington have told commanders at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs to expect a starting figure of $294 million for the current fiscal year, said Lt. Col. Burke Beaumont, the academy’s finance director.


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