Rep. Miller Vows to Fight Administration’s Proposal to Eliminate A-10 Fleet at Selfridge, Again

Feb 24, 2014

Harrison Township, MI – Today, U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) issued the following statement after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel released the Administration’s proposed defense budget for fiscal year 2015 that would eliminate the entire fleet of the A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft, including those stationed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base (ANGB): 

“Providing for our common defense is the first and foremost responsibility of the federal government.  As Congress begins consideration of the budget, making certain our nation is adequately defended will be my top priority.  

“Over the last few years the budget put forward by the Administration has attempted to eliminate the flying mission of the A-10s and diminish the role of the Air National Guard.  Each time I have been proud to help lead the effort in Congress to reject this proposal and have demanded that the Air Force put forward a plan on how it will replace the important ground support mission of the A-10 and properly utilize the great talent and skill provided by the brave men and women of the Air National Guard. 

“Recently, the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force concluded that we in Congress were on the right path by recognizing that the Air Guard was a vital national asset that provided our nation with great security in a very cost effective manner that must be utilized.  In fact, the Commission even recommended greater reliance on the Air Guard to save money and maintain a ready force. 

“The National Guard was the most important factor to secure our freedom in our revolution and has been the foundation of our national security for the last two centuries.  Nothing highlights this fact more vividly than the incredible service and sacrifice provided by the brave men and women of the National Guard since the attacks of 9/11 during which they have provided nearly 1/3 of all forces deployed in the defense of freedom, the largest such call up since World War II. 

“The Administration can expect that those of us who so strongly recognize the important role the National Guard plays in defending our nation will not back down in ensuring that role is not diminished.”

Background:
In 2012, Rep. Miller successfully defeated the Administration’s attempt to eliminate and/or reduce the Air National Guard personnel and assets, including the A-10 Thunderbolt aircrafts based at Selfridge Air National Guard Base (ANGB).  As a result of her efforts, the Defense Authorizations for 2013 and 2014 preserved Air Guard resources until an analysis could be conducted on the Air Force and its current and future structure with respect to its mission.  The detailed report, completed last month by the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, included recommendations to the President, the Department of Defense and Congress to evaluate and improve the overall structure of the Air Force.  Specifically of note, the Commission recommended that the Air Force place greater reliance on the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve to lower overall military personnel costs and produce a more ready and capable force.  Despite this recommendation, the Administration is once again seeking to undermine one of our most capable, cost-effective resources by eliminating the entire A-10 fleet used by the Air Guard without identifying a replacement. 

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