May 23 2012
COCHRAN: NEED TO RECONCILE RELIANCE ON GUARD & RESERVE WITH PROPOSED BUDGET REDUCTIONS, RESTRUCTURING
FY2013 Budget Requests for Guard & Reserve Reviewed at Senate Hearing
Contact: Chris Gallegos, 202-224-5054
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today sought information needed to help reconcile the nation’s reliance on its National Guard and Reserve components with Department of Defense budget reductions and restructuring proposals.
On Wednesday, Cochran took part in a Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the FY2013 budget requests for the National Guard and Reserve.
“We appreciate the dedication and commitment to strengthen and maintain the Guard and Reserve components of our military establishment. At the same time, we are concerned about the readiness of an operational Guard and Reserve and how that might be affected by the restructure decisions within the Department of Defense,” said Cochran, vice chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
At the hearing, Cochran offered questions regarding: aircraft and restructuring plans related to reassigning and decommissioning aircraft; maintaining Camp Shelby as a “force projection site” for mobilized military personnel; and shipbuilding needs to support the Naval Reserve. The Senator’s inquiries also touched on equipment and training needs for the Guard and Reserve, as well as the role of these components in disaster response activities.
Overall, the FY2013 budget request includes funding to support approximately 460,000 Army and Air National Guardsmen, and 381,600 Reservists. The Air Force is recommending reducing 5,100 personnel and 134 aircraft out of the Air Guard.
“There is a great appreciation for the men and women who serve in the Guard and Reserve, and it is important that we carefully review budget and restructuring proposals. We must be sure that these decisions will help maintain the readiness and robustness of these military components, which have played an increasingly critical role in protecting the safety and security of our citizens and our interests around the world,” Cochran said.
The Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing is the latest in a series of hearings to review aspects of the President’s FY2013 budget for the Department of Defense. The proposed reductions and restructuring recommendations were proposed to meet a required $487 billion in Defense Department cuts over the next 10 years.