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PA National Guard faces potential cuts

Updated: Wednesday, March 5 2014, 05:53 PM CST
Reported by: James Tully

The Obama administration has proposed military cuts across the board, to meet the national budget. Every branch would see reductions in staffing, including the National Guard.

The proposed cuts to the National Guard isn't sitting well with Governor Corbett. National Guard members cost one third of the amount of active duty soldiers. A document that was signed by all 50 Governors apposes those cuts, saying the Guard is a cost effective operational force that is critical to our nation's security.

Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig, Pennsylvania's Adjutant General, keeps his opinions on the Pentagon's proposal clear and concise.  "The executive branch has proposed these reductions.   We don't think it's very wise.  It's up to Congress right now and that is where the debate is ongoing right now."

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's plan would call for the National Guard to reduce in size from 355,000 to 315,000 Guardsmen.

In Pennsylvania, that could eliminate as many as 1,500 of the Guard's 15,000 members.

"A way to strategically look at this if you want to change the, increase the guard and reserve you can keep the army the same size," Craig said.

It's a possible solution that is echoed by our Governor, who himself served in the Guard.

If the Department of Defense follows through with the plan, which includes eliminating an entire class of Air Force attack jets, our military would be at it's smallest since before WWII.

"The National Guard in my opinion belongs to the governor of each state, they serve at his convenience and his desire," said veteran David Demmy. Demmy is a veteran of the U.S. Army and the National Guard. He couldn't stress enough of the importance of our Reserves.  "You look at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania could be very detrimental if there's a natural disaster."

PA National Guard faces potential cuts

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