A top Air Force official warned this week that the steady increase in pay and benefits costs could be harmful to the overall function of the military branch in the future, according to a news release from the Department of Defense.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III said that the Air Force will not be able to complete its duties within the next 10 years because the cost of benefits, salaries and health insurance account for half of the branch's total budget.
"We've all benefited immensely and we thank them for that," Welsh said in the statement. "But it is time to slow it down a little bit until we know we can do our primary job, which is fight and win the nation's wars."
Welsh stated that Congress would need to slow the growth of military pay and benefits so that the DOD can iron out its current financial issues. Experts added that these costs might be unsustainable as early as 2023.
The Pentagon's base budget is currently 26 percent higher than it was a decade ago, The Huffington Post reported. Under the new spending cuts, the Defense Department's spending budget would average around $528 billion per year.