Hargett, Jr.: Air National Guard to be hardest hit as U.S. Air Force cuts budget

WASHINGTON, 6 Feb. 2012. Retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett, Jr., president of the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), anticipates the Air National Guard to bear the brunt of anticipated U.S. Air Force budget cuts. In a statement, Gen. Hargett admits, "We still only know a few details of the Air Force's fiscal 2013 budget request. Nevertheless, this much is painfully apparent: the Air Force's definition of 'balanced' cuts tilts heavily against the nation's most experienced and cost-effective flying units. Despite claims last week that reductions to Air Force aircraft and personnel would be 'balanced' across the active component, the National Guard and the Reserves, the Air National Guard is apparently taking the bulk of the cuts.”

Retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett, Jr., continues:

"This not only squanders the opportunity to leverage the Air Guard to retain combat capability at a time when reductions must be made, it reduces the Air Force's ability to quickly respond to unforeseen contingencies in the future.

"Also troubling is the process by which Air Force officials are revealing the budget. The ink has been dry for weeks, yet details are deliberately being released in bits and pieces over several weeks, with those most affected among the last to know. The men and women who wear the uniform deserve better. So do the members of Congress, who will ultimately determine the budget's fate.  

"Finally, while a few Air National Guard officials were participants in the secret Air Force deliberations to formulate this budget, it's now clear to me that the Air Guard was never allowed to be a full partner in the process."



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