WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Guard Association of the United States today released the following statement by retired Maj. Gen. Gus L. Hargett Jr., the NGAUS president:
"Even after two media briefings, 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.
"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."
About NGAUS: The association includes nearly 45,000 current or former Guard officers. It was created in 1878 to provide unified representation in Washington. In their first productive meeting after Reconstruction, militia officers from the North and South formed the association with the goal of obtaining better equipment and training by educating Congress on militia needs. Today, 134 years later, the militia is known as the National Guard, but NGAUS has the same mission.
Internet Availability: This document and other Guard and NGAUS news and information are available at www.ngaus.org.
SOURCE National Guard Association of the U.S.