Support HR 3930 - National Commission on the Structure of the Army Act.
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I am writing to voice my strong opposition to the US Army?s plan to drastically reduce Army National Guard end strength, and their proposal to transfer the entire AH-64 Apache helicopter fleet and approximately 100 UH-72 Lakota helicopters out of the National Guard. This is the result of the Army's desire to mothball the entire fleet of OH-58 Kiowa helicopters. By some estimates, the Guard stands to lose a net-total of 150 air frames and 35,000 positions starting in FY15.
The impact to the men and women of the Army National Guard and the communities they live in would be devastatting. I also believe the Army's plan would seriously hinder the National Guard's ability to perform its dual-role mission of augmenting the United State's national defense while at the same time being able to respond to the domestic needs of their respective states and territories.
The plan makes no sense. Several studies have demonstrated the National Guard's ability to perform at virtually the same readiness level as their active duty counterparts for one-third the cost. The National Guard also possesses a more experienced cadre of full-time personnel when compared to their active duty counterparts, a value that's often overlooked. For example, many Army National Guard helicopter pilots have thousands more flight hours of experience than active duty pilots do. National Guard surface maintenance mechanics also have many more years of experience than their active counterparts. This experince means a safer operating environment, faster repair times, and better mission effectiveness all at 60% savings to the taxpayer.
If the Department of Defense is truly interested in realizing cost savings then they should be considering how to increase the National Guard's role, not reduce it. That?s why I am asking that you support HR 3930 - the National Commission on the Structure of the Army Act. This bill would create an unbiased panel tasked with studying and making recommendations on the force structure of the Army as a whole. It would also immediately address proposed cuts to the Army National Guard by freezing the Army's proposed transfer and divestiture of Army National Guard aircraft, and would maintain Army National Guard end strength at the current level of 350,000 until at least February 2016 when the Commission's report would be due.
I urge you to support HR 3930 to inject some common sense into the picture before the Army decides to start making cuts that could seriously hinder our Nation's readiness posture. There's no need for rash decisions, especially ones that can put our men and women in harms way.
Please stand behind and support the men and women of the Army National Guard by supporting HR 3930!
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