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Kyrsten S.
Democrat AZ 9

About Rep. Kyrsten
  • A Reduction of Military Forces

    by Representative Kyrsten Sinema

    Posted on 2014-01-16

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    SINEMA. Thank you to the gentleman from Pennsylvania for hosting that bipartisan Special Order.

    Unfortunately, these days in Washington there are too few issues that bring Republicans and Democrats together to find reasonable solutions to [[Page H1235]] the challenges facing our country, but supporting the National Guard is one issue that certainly brings us together, which is why I appreciate the opportunity to join my colleagues today.

    The United States needs a fully functional and operational National Guard. The active military and the National Guard may have different attributes, but they train and certify to the same standards, and Guard units and personnel can function interchangeably with their Active Duty brothers and sisters.

    We rely on the National Guard to protect our country overseas and here at home. Arizona has a proud tradition of service, and we are proud of our fellow Arizonans who become citizen soldiers.

    Since September 11, over 12,000 members of the Arizona National Guard have deployed, and we have 150 members currently mobilized.

    Not only does the Arizona National Guard deploy overseas, it has a critical mission here at home: responding to natural disasters, improving border security, and performing counterdrug operations.

    The Arizona National Guard is also leading the way in helping our citizen soldiers and their families balance the challenges of service with civilian life.

    Under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Denise Sweeney, Director of Arizona's National Guard Total Force Team, the Be Resilient Program is promoting mission readiness and retention by increasing the resilience of each servicemember and their family.

    {time} 1300 The Total Force Team focuses on integrating and coordinating the efforts of all resilience and support programs for Arizona National Guard members and their families, and it leverages public-private partnership to engage the broader community.

    This program is strengthening servicemembers and their families and is another example of why the Arizona National Guard is so important to our State and why the National Guard deserves our full support.

    I support a defense budget that responsibly uses taxpayer dollars and keeps our country safe and secure. I have serious concerns that the proposed cuts to our National and Reserve component would undermine the ability of Arizona's National Guard to perform its critical missions.

    Substantially reducing the size of National Guard, and in particular, removing all helicopter attack aviation, could hurt Arizona and our national security. You can't build emergency response, combat, and leadership capabilities overnight. We will continue to call on our National Guard in times of need. We should make sure they have all the training, tools, and force strength to answer that call.

    As a member of a military family, I understand that these citizen soldiers and their families make great sacrifices in order to serve our country. We should stand up and support these brave and committed men and women, and give them the tools that they need to keep us safe.

    Thank you, Colonel Perry, for hosting this time. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this important issue more.

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