February 28, 2012 In News
JACKSON—Gov. Phil Bryant, along with governors of 49 other states, signed a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta opposing cuts to the Air National Guard as recommended by the U.S. Air Force in its fiscal year 2013 budget request. Bryant signed the letter during a recent trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the National Governors Association Conference.
The letter from the governors says the cuts are disproportionate to those recommended for the Air Force. The Air National Guard would “absorb 59 percent of the total aircraft budget reductions and approximately six times the per capita personnel reductions.”
“Air National Guard troops play an extremely important role in making our nation and states safer, projecting power around the globe and defending the freedom that all of us enjoy each day,“ Gov. Bryant said. “We are asking Secretary Panetta to reconsider these drastic cuts and to work with governors to develop a better budget approach.”
Mississippi Adjutant General Augustus “Leon” Collins and the adjutants general from 49 other states, three U.S. territories and the District of Columbia signed a similar opposition letter.
The adjutants general asked lawmakers to “freeze” the Air Force budget request in order to allow for full review of the potential impact to the Air National Guard.
Mississippi is home to two Air National Guard flying units: the 172nd Airlift Wing based at Thompson Field in Jackson and the 186th Air Refueling Wing based at Key Field in Meridian.