02.24.14

Comments Of Senator Patrick Leahy, Co-Chair, Senate National Guard Caucus, On The Pentagon's Plan For Deep Cuts To The Army National Guard

"It is greatly disappointing that even after more than a decade of overseas deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon refuses to recognize the versatility and effectiveness of the National Guard.  The men and women of the National Guard have proven again and again, beyond any question, that they can do any job they are assigned, at high-levels of performance indistinguishable from their active component counterparts.  Fifty-seven senators joined me recently in pointing out to Secretary Hagel that a National Guard reduced to 315,000 threatens the Guard's ability to function as a cost-effective, dual-use force for missions at home and abroad, and would dangerously reduce our nation's strategic depth.  As co-chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus and as one who has closely watched the phenomenal work of the Guard in Vermont and other states, I believe the Senate should not and cannot support a long-term plan that guts our citizen-soldier force."

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