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Guard Leaders to Congress: Halt 'Flawed' Air Force Budget Request


WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Frustrated by an Air Force budget process they believe dismissed Air National Guard cost-efficiency and competence, state and territory Guard leaders have taken their "deep" concerns to Capitol Hill.

In a letter today to the chairmen and the ranking members of the congressional committees that will ultimately determine the defense budget, the Adjutants General Association of the United States asked lawmakers to "freeze" the Air Force's 2013 budget request until lawmakers can comprehensively review the submission.

The adjutants general from the 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and District of Columbia all signed the letter.

They believe the Air Force used "flawed processes, assumptions and criteria" to develop a budget request in which the Air Guard bears the brunt of proposed Air Force personnel and aircraft reductions.

"It is counterintuitive that the Air National Guard, which comprises 21% of the uniformed members of the Total Air Force, would bear 59% of the total aircraft cuts and approximately six times the per capita personnel cuts, especially in light of our country's current and foreseeable fiscal posture," the adjutants general stressed to the leaders of the House and Senate appropriations committees and the House and Senate armed services committee.

State and territory Guard leaders also stressed that Air Guard experience and short- and long-term cost-effective savings had been discounted in the process designed, in part, to save money.

"The Air National Guard has the highest experience levels in the total force, the lowest base operating expenses and by far the lowest life cycle costs (including lower retirement and medical costs)," they wrote. 

The adjutants general also lamented the lack of an Air Force long-range plan.

"We have been asking the Air Force for more than three years to provide us a comprehensive long range plan for the Total Air Force and have not yet received such a plan," they wrote.  "Absent such a plan, it is reasonable to assume we will be in a continuous cycle of budget cuts that eliminate aircraft and personnel assigned to the Air National Guard by the Air Force."

SOURCE Adjutants General Association of the United States

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