WASHINGTON—In Washington, D.C., for the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, 49 governors sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta highlighting the value of the National Guard and opposing the disproportionate cuts facing the Air National Guard as part of the U.S. Air Force’s fiscal 2013 budget request. The letter was delivered to the secretary at the Council of Governors meeting. The following is a statement from the nation’s governors:

“The nation’s governors strongly oppose the disproportionate cuts facing the Air National Guard. As Commanders-in-Chief, we appreciate the need to reorganize, restructure and modernize the military to meet new threats and economic realities.

“We also understand the need for cost-effective means to achieve these goals, but believe asking the Air National Guard to absorb 59 percent of the total aircraft budget reductions and about six times the personnel reductions does not help us reach these goals.

“Governors are extremely proud of the role that the National Guard plays in protecting this nation and its citizens. A highly experienced and capable force, the National Guard is essential in responding to domestic disasters and emergencies.

“We request that the Department of Defense reconsider any proposed reductions to the Air Guard force structure or equipment and that Secretary Panetta works with governors to find solutions that better serve the interests of the nation.”

To view the full letter, please click here.