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Press Release

For Immediate Release
April 11, 2014

Contact:
Communications Office
(603)271-2121

Governor Hassan Stands Up Against Proposed Personnel Cuts to Army National Guard
Sends Letter to Congressional Leadership Voicing Opposition to Proposed Cuts, Supporting the Creation of a Commission that Engages with State Military Leadership

CONCORD - Highlighting the importance of the New Hampshire Army National Guard to national defense and the State of New Hampshire's efforts to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies, Governor Maggie Hassan announced today that she sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi urging opposition to proposed Army National Guard (ARNG) personnel cuts.

"While I understand the budget realities our nation and the Army is facing, the Army National Guard is a critical resource for the states, providing both national defense and homeland mission support," Governor Hassan wrote. "The current Army proposal requires more work to adequately balance the need for cost-savings without diminishing the ability of the Army National Guard to provide state mission support."

The Army's Fiscal Year 2015 budget request proposes personnel cuts that would result in the loss of 10 percent of ARNG personnel, or approximately 35,000 soldiers nationwide, which could severely limit the New Hampshire Army National Guard's ability to provide support in defense missions abroad and to respond effectively to disasters and emergencies at home.

"In the past decade, nearly 3,000 New Hampshire Army National Guardsmen and women have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, serving admirably alongside their active duty brother and sister soldiers," Governor Hassan wrote. "In addition to these defense missions abroad, the soldiers of the New Hampshire Army National Guard provide crucial assistance to our state during natural disasters and other state emergencies."

To address these issues, Governor Hassan emphasized her support for the establishment of a National Commission on the Structure of the Army, which would create an unbiased, independent panel to bring in state-level input and make recommendations on the force structure of the Army.

"Large-scale cuts to the Army National Guard will have a far-reaching impact on each and every state," Governor Hassan concluded. "Yet, meaningful engagement between state civilian and military leadership and the Department of the Army has not occurred. An unbiased and independent review of the Army force structure is the best option to find a workable solution that accomplishes the shared goal of cost-savings without the loss of important capacity."

The full text of the Governor's letter to congressional leadership is below.

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable John Boehner
Speaker of the House
United State House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Republican Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20510

 

Dear Majority Leader Reid, Republican Leader McConnell, Speaker Boehner and Democratic Leader Pelosi:

I am writing to urge your support for the establishment of a National Commission on the Structure of the Army and to express my opposition to the Army National Guard (ARNG) personnel cuts proposed in the Army's Fiscal Year 2015 budget request. While I understand the budget realities our nation and the Army is facing, the Army National Guard is a critical resource for the states, providing both national defense and homeland mission support. The current Army proposal requires more work to adequately balance the need for cost-savings without diminishing the ability of the Army National Guard to provide state mission support.

The impact of the proposed Army budget on our Army National Guard will be substantial. Over the next five years, the proposed budget would result in the loss of 10 percent of current ARNG personnel – about 35,000 soldiers. In addition, the Army has proposed the elimination of all Apache attack helicopters from the Army National Guard.

The loss of any Army National Guard capacity is especially troubling given the Guard's dual role. In the past decade, nearly 3,000 New Hampshire Army National Guardsmen and women have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, serving admirably alongside their active duty brother and sister soldiers. In addition to these defense missions abroad, the soldiers of the New Hampshire Army National Guard provide crucial assistance to our state during natural disasters and other state emergencies. Over the past five years, New Hampshire has called upon hundreds of its Guardsmen and women to provide vital aid during ice storms, hurricanes and search and rescue missions.

The proposed cuts currently outlined in the Army's 2015 budget request could severely limit our state's ability to respond effectively to disasters and emergencies; further exacerbating existing challenges caused by the New Hampshire Army National Guard's outdated facilities.

The establishment of a National Commission on the Structure of the Army is needed to address these issues. Large-scale cuts to the Army National Guard will have a far-reaching impact on each and every state. Yet, meaningful engagement between state civilian and military leadership and the Department of the Army has not occurred. An unbiased and independent review of the Army force structure is the best option to find a workable solution that accomplishes the shared goal of cost-savings without the loss of important capacity.

Again, I urge you to support the establishment of a National Commission on the Structure of the Army and to consider the impact the current Army proposal will have on Army National Guard capacity. We must all work together to ensure a strong, modernized and cost-effective military force.

With every good wish,


Margaret Wood Hassan
Governor

 

cc:The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen, US Senator
The Honorable Kelly Ayotte, US Senator
The Honorable Carol Shea-Porter, US Representative
The Honorable Ann McLane Kuster, US Representative
Major General William N. Reddel III, Adjutant General of New Hampshire