Feb 26, 2018
Defense Drumbeat

By Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo - SNJ Today

As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I have always put first the needs and priorities of those men and women who serve our nation. With great sacrifice to their families, these brave individuals put their lives on the line, at home and abroad, in defense of our freedoms and principles. Their efforts – and lives – are threatened, however, due to the state of our military readiness. For New Jersey and the nation, I strongly believe rebuilding our military is a national security priority.

Inconceivably, some argue that our military readiness is not threatened and, rather, the Defense Department should be scaled back even further. Defense Secretary James Mattis and the hard numbers strongly refute that assertion. With real and growing threats such as Iran, China and North Korea, we cannot continue the decline of our armed services and expect our readiness not to be severely impacted...

The negative impact is not limited to our nation’s security and our efforts to quickly mobilize and defend against unexpected threats. The safety of our servicemen and women who must continuously train is also at grave risk.

In 2017 alone, 80 servicemembers lost their lives in training accidents versus 21 servicemembers killed in combat. Deadly aviation accidents nearly doubled in the first half of 2017 compared to the average of the previous decade. Fatal naval incidents aboard the USS Fitzgerald and USS McCain last year were caused in part due to readiness shortfalls, including insufficient time and resources to train sailors and maintain ships properly. With adequate federal resources and manpower, these accidents can become less frequent and less fatal...

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115th Congress