Home » NEWS » Cochran pushing for commission to study Army, National Guard

Cochran pushing for commission to study Army, National Guard

Sen. Thad Cochran

Sen. Thad Cochran

WASHINGTON — Faced with questions about the make-up of the U.S. Army in a budget-constrained, post-war era, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) has signaled his support for a national commission to study the future of the Army and National Guard.

Cochran, vice chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, is an original cosponsor of the National Commission on the Future of the Army Act. The bipartisan measure would establish an independent national commission to analyze President Obama’s budget recommendations to restructure the active-duty Army and its reserve component.

“Establishing a national commission to carefully scrutinize proposed changes to the United States Army is a prudent action. The Congress is faced with tough and far-reaching choices related to the structure of the Army. These changes will affect the capabilities of the Army, not just nationally but in Mississippi,” Cochran said.“Under this legislation, I believe we can achieve much of the desired savings from the budget request while maintaining our military capability and allowing for an unbiased and independent review of the overall size and force mix of the Army.”

The commission legislation was introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), co-chairs of the National Guard Caucus. Cochran is also a member.

Within the President’s budget request, the leadership of the Army recommended transferring all Army Guard AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to active-duty forces. Under the Army’s aviation restructure plan, the Army Guard would receive 111 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters in return and retain all light utility helicopters already assigned to Guard units.

For Mississippi, the transfer of the Apache helicopters would directly affect the Army Aviation Support Facility in Tupelo. The restructure plan also recommends procurement of 100 Lakota helicopters, which are built in Columbus, for the active component.

The Senate legislation would prohibit the Defense Department from using FY2015 funding to reduce end strengths for Army personnel. The bill would restrict the Army from carrying out wide-scale Apaches helicopter transfers in order to maintain the Army National Guard’s role as a combat reserve while the commission analyzes the overall impact of the restructure plan.

BEFORE YOU GO…

… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About MBJ Staff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*