May 20 2014
Miss. Senator Highlights Concerns With C-130J Transfer, Army’s Plan for National Guard, and Sequestration Mitigation
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the lead Republican on the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland, today issued the following statement regarding his priorities for the FY2015 “National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA) during the subcommittee’s markup of its portion of the bill:
“The greatest risk our military faces today is the risk of an unready force that is insufficiently equipped and unable to accomplish its assigned missions. There is still a ways to go to produce a defense budget that is based on our national security interests and the threats to those interests.
“I remain gravely concerned that the Senate has done little to mitigate the impacts of sequestration on our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. Sequestration remains the greatest challenge facing our military. Without congressional action, the Department of Defense (DOD) will return to sequestration funding levels in FY2016. Unless we take action, the ability of our military and our industrial base to react to unforeseen contingencies will be severely eroded.
“Further, I remain deeply concerned about the Air Force Total Force Plan (TFP). I am convinced that some elements of the TFP were shortsighted and may adversely affect our intra-theater airlift capability at a time when our services are evolving toward a more rotational deployment model.
“I share the concerns of many of my colleagues regarding the Air Force’s plans to transfer C-130J and C-130H aircraft beginning this fiscal year. Given the intense congressional scrutiny and potential amendments on this issue, I once again urge the Air Force to consider delaying any scheduled FY2014 aircraft and personnel transfers until the defense authorization bill is complete and signed into law.”
“Finally, I strongly support the creation of a commission to study the future of the Army – including the role of our National Guard. I believe the National Guard must be a combat-capable force ready to supplement our active-duty combatants when called on. I know the commission’s findings will greatly inform the Congress and DOD as we consider force structure decisions in the future.”
The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold a markup of the legislation in totality beginning on Wednesday.