A Reduction of Military Forcesby Former Representative Nick J. Rahall II
Posted on 2014-01-16
RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I am opposed to draconian budget cuts that
would adversely impact the Army National Guard.
Currently, my State of West Virginia is under a State of Emergency because of a chemical spill into our Capital's water supply. Our state's National Guard has been critical in getting clean drinking water to affected residents and ensuring their health and safety.
The Guard's assistance is an absolute necessity in times of state emergencies, but let us not forget that the men and women of the Guard are also serving overseas and safeguarding our Nation's security as Soldiers in the Total Army, held to the same standards and exposed to the same risks as their active component counterparts.
I strongly believe that a proposal to reduce the Army National Guard to its lowest level in over 50 years would not only weaken our national security and homeland defenses, but makes very little fiscal sense within a long-term military strategy, as personnel costs for Guardsmen are roughly one-third the cost of active component personnel.
Congress should be clear from the beginning of the budget cycle that draconian, end strength reductions to the Reserve Component are dangerous. We owe our Guard and the American people better.