WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) today reacted to proposed military changes outlined by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
During a briefing at the Pentagon, Sec. Hagel announced that the President’s defense budget request would include significant changes, including an overall reduction in the Army fighting force and a realigning of aircraft. Sec. Hagel specifically mentioned Alabama’s Fort Rucker, home to the Army Aviation Center of Excellence, saying its fleet of training helicopters would be modernized under the Army’s plan.
Rep. Roby said changes to the U.S. Armed Forces are to be expected, but it matters how those changes are implemented.
“With the drawdown of forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, along with our current budget limitations, changes to our military are no doubt necessary,” Rep. Roby said. “However, those changes should reflect our national defense priorities and common sense, not politics.
“I have been personally engaged in discussions surrounding the Army’s planned changes. As it stands, the plan would have a positive impact on Fort Rucker and the critical training mission at the Army Aviation Center of Excellence.
“It is important to point out that military budget reductions would have been much more severe if Congress had not passed a budget agreement in December that restored significant funding cut by sequestration.
“Much of what Sec. Hagel released today was expected, and I look forward to reviewing President Obama’s full budget request when it is released next month.”
Rep. Roby voted against the August 2011 Budget Control Act that opened the door to sequester military cuts and has repeatedly spoken out about the potential harm the cuts pose to military readiness and national security.