Grass to Senators: Stop Sequestration

NGAUS Washington Report

(Feb. 19, 2013) Sequestration and a yearlong continuing resolution would significantly hinder the National Guard’s ability to protect and defend the homeland, Gen. Frank J. Grass told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week.

“Sequestration will be devastating to the Department of Defense and the National Guard,” the chief of the National Guard Bureau said. “Your support is needed more than ever today to mitigate the impacts of sequestration.”

The general outlined four priority areas directly related to readiness where the National Guard would be severely impacted: personnel, equipment maintenance, facility maintenance and training.

Under sequestration:

  • About 115,000 traditional Guard members would not get annual medical or dental exams. “Within one year, readiness will be degraded to pre-war levels,” Grass said.
  • The National Guard’s civilian workforce would face a potential furlough. 
  • The Army would cancel or reduce depot-level equipment maintenance, including the reset of materiel returning from deployment. “National Guard units will return to their states with equipment in a low state of readiness, and it may not be available to the unit to support state authorities in response to tornados, floods or wildfires or a complex catastrophe,” Grass said.
  • The Air National Guard would be forced to “park” aircraft, degrading readiness.
  • Military construction projects would be cut. Some facility security, firefighting, grounds keeping, custodial, snow removal and maintenance contracts might have to be cancelled, affecting jobs in communities.
  • Training cuts by the Army and the Air Force would affect both the Army and Air Guard. “Under sequestration, most flying units [in the Air Guard] will be below acceptable readiness standards by the end of this fiscal year,” Grass said.