(Nov. 3, 2015) Forty-seven senators from both sides of the aisle have reminded the National Commission on the Future of the Army of the important role played by the reserve components and want commissioners to consider that role as they prepare their report for Congress and the president.
The bipartisan group of senators signed a letter delivered last week to the panel that is investigating how the Army should prepare for future threats. The commission was created by Congress in the wake of a controversial Army plan that would remove AH-64 Apache helicopters from the Guard, but its mandate is much more broad.
The letter was signed by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the co-chairmen of the Senate National Guard Caucus, along with 45 of their Senate colleagues.
The senators make three points in the letter, which can be found on the NGAUS website here. First, they reinforce the notion that the Army Guard is "the most cost-effective way to ensure combat capabilities and capacity for the nation."
Second, they encourage modifying "self-imposed, archaic" policies and funding mechanisms that prevent the Army from making best use of the capabilities in all components. Also, the lawmakers want the panel to consider domestic response and how it can best be addressed within the Pentagon.
"When Congress created the Commission, we sought additional advice from a panel of experts because we recognized the nation's Army was at a crossroads, and wanted greater analysis before deciding on a path that made irreversible changes," the senators wrote. "We appreciate that you have taken on that mission for our nation, and eagerly anticipate receiving your recommendations."