WASHINGTON (Feb. 19, 2020) — The National Guard Association of the United States is taking up President Donald Trump on his 2016 campaign pledge to give the Guard “a direct line to the Oval Office.”
NGAUS wrote the president yesterday requesting he take “swift action” to restore more than $1 billion for Guard equipment that the Pentagon cut as part of a $3.8 billion reprogramming of fiscal 2020 defense appropriations.
The Guard cuts include:
• $790 million for the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account (NGREA);
• $169 million for two C-130J Super Hercules cargo planes for the Air Guard; and
• $100 million for the Army National Guard High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (Humvee) modernization program.
Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, the chairman of the board, and retired Brig. Gen. J. Roy Robinson, the association president, the signatories of the letter, said the cuts will “result in severe and long-term damage to the National Guard.
“All of these funds are essential to maintain National Guard interoperability, lethality, and readiness in support of the National Defense Strategy,” they wrote.
McGuire and Robinson reminded the president of a commitment he made to the Guard during a speech to the 138th NGAUS General Conference in Baltimore nearly four years ago.
Trump told Guard officers in attendance that he would provide “the resources, the equipment and the support you need and deserve and that you’re not getting.”
“In a Trump administration, the National Guard will always have a direct line to the Oval Office,” he said, “and I mean direct. You will have an administration that never loses sight of the vital contribution you make each and every day.”
The two generals wrote, “You were the only presidential candidate to honor us with your presence at the conference, and our members have never forgotten it.”
They concluded their letter by requesting “a meeting with you to discuss how we can work together to resolve this matter.”
Robinson said last week that the disproportionate cuts on the Guard were simply the Pentagon using the Guard as a “convenient bill-payer.”
All of the cuts to the Army in the reprogramming come at the expense of the Guard and Reserve, and 75% from the Guard, he said.
“Any inference that these aren’t critical needs for the Guard is false,” he said.
ABOUT NGAUS: The association includes nearly 45,000 current or former Guard officers. It was created in 1878 to provide unified National Guard 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 Guard requirements. Today, 142 years later, NGAUS has the same mission.
CONTACT: John Goheen at 202-408-5882 or [email protected]