Transcript: Testimony of Gen. Frank Grass on the impacts of sequestration on the National Guard

Transcript of testimony of Gen. Frank J. Grass, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, on the impacts of sequestration. The Senate Armed Services Committee hearing was held on Feb. 12, 2013.

Chairman Levin, Ranking Member Inhofe, members of the committee, it is an honor and privilege to be here today.

The greatest threat to the National Guard today is the continued uncertainty over their budget. I provided all 54 adjutants general with a summary of near-term measures to assist them in mitigating budget risk and threats to our readiness.

However, without near-term relief, our ability to respond to domestic and other contingencies will decline.

In personnel, we are implementing a civilian hiring freeze and not renewing temporary civilian employees. We are planning to defer sustainment and maintenance requirements for our aircraft, vehicles, and facilities. The National Guard is reviewing every bit of overhead across our force. We are curtailing conference attendance and all travel and training that is not mission-essential and produce readiness.

Full sequestration and a year-long continuing resolution will directly impact the readiness of our units and will have an impact on the full range of National Guard activities.
In the area of personnel, a Government, civilian, and military technician hiring freeze, compounded by a possible 22-day furlough, will limit our ability to train and maintain our National Guard forces.

In the area of maintenance, current depot backlogs, coupled with the loss of reset dollars, will reduce National Guard equipment availability and readiness.

In the area of facilities, sustainment, restoration, and modernization cuts will degrade an already aging armory infrastructure. The continuing resolution prohibits any new starts on our military construction, further threatening armory and facility modernization master plans.

And finally, in the area of training, a near-term lack of operations and maintenance funds will cut our flying hour program and reduce our vehicle miles in operations and maintenance causing reduced readiness. If not addressed, we will be forced to park vehicles and aircraft.

In a matter of months, our readiness as an operational force for our Nation’s defense and as an immediate homeland response capability available to the Governors will erode.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today, and I look forward to your questions.

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3 Comments on “Transcript: Testimony of Gen. Frank Grass on the impacts of sequestration on the National Guard

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