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Adjutant-General Tonini to Congress - 2014-04-25

Adjutant-General Tonini to Congress - 2014-04-25

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Published by BreakingDefense
Kentucky Adjutant-General Maj. Gen. Ed Tonini, head of the Adjutants-General Association of the United States (AGAUS), calls on Congress block an Army plan to cut the National Guard and create an independent commission to study the matter instead.
Kentucky Adjutant-General Maj. Gen. Ed Tonini, head of the Adjutants-General Association of the United States (AGAUS), calls on Congress block an Army plan to cut the National Guard and create an independent commission to study the matter instead.

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Published by: BreakingDefense on Apr 25, 2014
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05/05/2014

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The Adjutants General Association of the United States
As the President of the Adjutants General Association of the United States, representing a body comprised of the 54 Adjutants General from each state and territory, I am reaching out to you in an attempt to set the record straight on the development of the Armys proposed budget for the Army  !ational Guard and some of the provisions no" before you#And at this moment, our nation is counting on all of us to $get it right# %e need an honest, unbiased  bro&er# %e need an independent !ational 'ommission to revie" our Army and recommend the best structure for Americas future security and Army force# (he first misconception is that the !ational Guard is un"illing to accept budget cuts# (his is simply not true# !o service or component "ants its budget reduced, but as the leaders of community)based forces, "e are acutely a"are of the threats posed by our nations fiscal problems# *any of us have seen our state or territory budgets cut# All of us have Soldiers and Airmen "ho have been hurt by the sluggish economy and "ho "ill bear the future burden of our countrys mounting debt# (he Guard must ma&e reductions# %e accept that# In fact, "e supported the plan the !ational Guard +ureau offered last summer to cover the Army  !ational Guards original -#. billion share of cuts re/uired by the +udget 'ontrol Act# (he plan minimi0ed personnel turbulence, "hich translates into reduced retraining costs and other ris&s to readiness# Unfortunately, this and all other input from the !ational Guard "as rejected by Army leadership in favor of the proposal no" before you that creates significant personnel turbulence ) re/uiring more than 55,111 soldiers having to be retrained for ne" careers, years of readiness  problems, and includes more than - billion in non)programmed costs# Another fallacy is the implied savings from the Armys plan to transfer the entire Army !ational Guard A2)34 Apache fleet to the active component under the Aviation estructuring Initiative AI6# Army !ational Guard attac&)helicopter battalions, on average, can be maintained for 47 percent of the cost of their active)component counterparts# 8ou simply do not save money shifting aircraft from the former to the latter# AI also fails to include the significant retraining costs associated "ith such a transfer# 9ust as important, it s/uanders strategic depth and hundreds of the (otal Armys most e:perienced Apache pilots and maintainers, and it eliminates a readily available place to serve for Apache pilots and maintainers "ho leave the active component#;/ually deceptive is the Army argument that the states and territories "ould be better off "ith U2)31 +lac& 2a"& helicopters than Apaches# Governors do not agree# (he reason for this is t"o)fold< -#6 (he  !ational Guard does not have a /uantitative +lac& 2a"& shortage, and 7#6 (he implications of removing attac& aviation from the force structure# (hey fear, as do "e, that this is a first big step to ta&ing a"ay the Army !ational Guards historic combat role, and it is the e:perience gained through the command and control of combat units that ma&es the Army !ational Guard so successful in large)scale domestic operations#
ADJUTANTS GENERAL ASSOCIATION OF THE UNITED STATES
1 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washn!t"n, D.C. #$$$1

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