2015-04-20 National Governors Association

Army National Guard Apaches

The Honorable John McCain
Chairman
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Jack Reed
Ranking Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman McCain and Ranking Member Reed:

Governors appreciated Congressional action last year to limit the transfer of Army National Guard (ARNG) Apaches to the active component to no more than 48 during fiscal year (FY) 2015. As you draft the FY 2016 defense authorization bill, governors request that you include language to prohibit any additional transfers beyond the 48 until FY 2017.

Earlier this year, governors wrote to the President and Department of Defense leadership to express concerns that the Army’s FY 2016 budget proposal would waste more than a decade of investments and squander the combat experience resident in the ARNG. Governors firmly believe that the Guard’s cost-effectiveness could be better leveraged to maintain overall capability while reducing costs for the nation.

Governors raised similar concerns last year and supported Congressional action to create the National Commission on the Future of the Army (Commission) to provide an independent assessment of the Army’s proposals. As the Commission begins its work this month, we ask that Congress prevent any further reductions of ARNG personnel, force structure and aircraft until at least the enactment of the FY 2017 defense authorization bill. This would allow sufficient time for Congressional consideration of the Commission’s report and ensure flexibility to implement its recommendations. Governors also ask that you clarify that the 12 ARNG Apaches previously sent to the active component for modernization be counted toward the 48 authorized for transfer.

Thank you for your leadership and consideration.

Sincerely,

Dan Crippen
Executive Director