Following a letter from 48 governors to Secretary Panetta to "strongly oppose the disproportionate cuts facing the Air National Guard as part of the U.S. Air Force's fiscal 2013 budget request," Chairman McKeon wrote to the governors to seek their input on cuts resulting from sequestration.
"I write today to seek your and other Governors insight on an equally troubling set of defense cuts that will hit the National Guard as a result of the automatic across-the-board discretionary spending cuts known as sequestration that are scheduled to occur on January 2, 2013.
"The sequester will result in a 10% across the board reduction in Department of Defense programs, cuts that could be higher if the President exempts military personnel accounts. The House Armed Services Committee has analyzed the impact of the sequestration and found that if left in place, sequestration would cut the military to its smallest size since before the Second World War. Major consequences include:
- More than 200,000 soldiers and Marines separated from service, bringing our force well below our pre-9/11 levels;
- A reduction of 20 percent in defense civilian personnel; and,
- An additional two BRAC rounds of base closings...
"...Governors, I know you and your colleagues across the country share my concerns about the Air National Guard and I suspect that those concerns would extend to the Army Guard as well. I would also highlight for you that the sequester will also impact the Reserve forces that are based throughout the 50 states and would likely impact a Governor’s ability to respond to natural disasters in their state."The Committee would greatly appreciate any insight and concerns that you and other Governors could share regarding the impact of potential defense sequester cuts to the Guard for both your state and national missions."
Read the full letter here.