Sixty members of the House of Representatives have asked the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee to find an alternative to the Air Force’s plan to cut aircraft and airmen from the Air National Guard.
The letter addressed to Rep. Howard P. McKeon, R-Calif., was sent Friday and was signed by a bi-partisan group of House members. Read the letter here.
The lawmakers tell McKeon that they understand the difficult challenge facing the Pentagon during tough economic times, but that the current plan “places the ANG’s lethal fighting capability back on the shelf.”
They want McKeon to consider their concerns when his committee addresses the budget this week.
“With the ANG taking on 59 percent of the total aircraft reduction and 5,100 in personnel cuts, it should be no surprise that 49 of our nation’s governors sent [Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta] a letter opposing the budgetary decision of the Air Force.”
They later write, “Given that the ANG provides 35 percent of the U.S. Air Force’s capabilities for only 6 percent of its budget, we believe that a cost-effective and strategic FY13 Air Force Budget should more fully employ the proven capabilities of the ANG. We therefore ask that you find an alternative for the Air Force FY13 budget in our mark that best reflects the integrity of each ANG base and their proven success.”