WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12) and Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) yesterday sent National Commission on the Future of the Army (NCFA) Chairman Carter Ham, USA Ret., and Vice Chairman Thomas R. Lamont a letter expressing concerns over recent Army force structure decisions and their hope that the NCFA will take into account the value and capability of the National Guard as they prepare recommendations for Army force structure decisions.  The letter says, in part:

“The National Guard must be recognized as a legitimate combat reserve of the Army.  To relegate them to the sidelines by stripping them of assets, reducing their readiness levels, and removing combat capability is simply unacceptable.  In addition, we urge you to reexamine the Department of Defense dwell time guidelines: some adjustments would make the Guard a cost-effective and viable choice for maintaining combat power.  As proven over the last 14 years, the National Guard provides a significant cost-savings in dwell while providing an equal capability when deployed.  The National Guard is always accessible and has never been better equipped, better led and more ready than it is right now.  It is essential to build a force that embraces this unprecedented capability.”

The letter goes on to express specific concern over the Army’s Aviation Restructure Initiative (ARI), which would remove attack aviation capability from the National Guard in order to provide the active Army with additional capability, and reiterate the need for an operational reserve in attack aviation.

The full text of the letter can be found here.