Monday, September 22, 2014

Washington D.C. - At a House Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday, Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo again raised the issue of a permanent THAAD battery on Guam and the importance of maintaining an Army Reserve Component.

The hearing focused on the Army's 2014 National Defense Authorization Request. Army Secretary John McHugh, and Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond T. Odierno testified.

Bordallo thanked the Joint Chiefs for their continuing evaluation of the THAAD battery on Guam and said she was encouraged the Army is developing more THAAD batteries to be deployed in various locations. She pointed out that the original EIS from 2009 called for a permanent Army missile defense unit on Guam, which she said would provide "a significant missile defense capability for our island in addition to the Navy’s Aegis system.”

As for the Reserve Component issue, Bordallo expressed concern that the army is substituting Active Duty units for Reserve Component formations during several upcoming deployments. If that continues she warned, "it will have a significant impact on the readiness and effectiveness for Reserve Component units" and "we risk relegating the Reserve Component back to a strategic reserve and not an operational reserve and we cannot let that happen."

READ the release from Congresswoman Bordallo below:


Bordallo Raises Army National Guard Reserve Component Readiness, Permanent Land-Based Missile Defense on Guam at Army Posture Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 25, 2013 – Washington, D.C. –

Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today received testimony from Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, and Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond T. Odierno, at a full committee hearing held by the House Armed Services Committee on the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Request from the Department of the Army.

The Congresswoman raised concerns about sequestration and maintaining the Reserve Component as an operational reserve. She asked Secretary McHugh and General Odierno to comment on where Reserve Component units would fall in the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) model with further budget cuts. She also asked about the 90-day evaluation of the recently-deployed THAAD battery to Guam as well as the Army’s planning effort to source the force structure and equipment for a more permanent land-based missile defense on the island.

Secretary McHugh said the substitution of Active Duty forces for Reserve Component forces is a direct result of sequestration. He said although the Army is committed to the ARFORGEN model, these substitutions will continue to occur if the Congress does not fix sequestration or provide more predictable and sufficient funding. He also said the Army is working to avoid disruptions in upcoming deployments of the Guard.  In response to the Congresswoman’s question about THAAD, General Odierno indicated that the Army would continue to evaluate the need for a permanent land-based missile defense on Guam.
 
“I understand the challenges our Army and all our services face, given the fiscal constraints of sequestration, but these decisions have significant impacts on unit readiness and the Army Force Generation model,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. “I am concerned that the Army is substituting Active Duty units for Reserve Component formations during several upcoming deployments. Should these kinds of substitutions continue to occur, it will have a significant impact on the readiness and effectiveness for Reserve Component units. Moreover, we risk relegating the Reserve Component back to a strategic reserve and not an operational reserve and we cannot let that happen.

Additionally, I appreciate that the Joint Chiefs are continuing to evaluate the THAAD battery on Guam and I am encouraged the Army is developing more THAAD batteries to be deployed in various locations. The original EIS from 2009 called for a permanent Army missile defense unit on Guam, which would provide a significant missile defense capability for our island in addition to the Navy’s Aegis system.”