MILITARY LEADERS DESCRIBE THREATS, READINESS TO REP. SCOTT DESJARLAIS AND HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a House Armed Services Committee hearing today, leaders from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines described to Congressman Scott DesJarlais, M.D., the effects of short-term planning and budget cuts on troops, their equipment and training, painting a dire picture of military “readiness.”
Rep. DesJarlais (TN-04) is a new member of the Readiness Subcommittee, which oversees training, supplies and services for troops and their families, the largest account at the Department of Defense. Still, Admiral William Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, said the U.S. Navy is its smallest in 99 years, responding to an “unrelenting pace” of strategic demands around the globe.
Witnesses mentioned China and Russia as serious threats, as well as ISIS and Iran.
General Daniel Allyn (Army), Admiral William Moran (Navy), General Stephen Wilson (Air Force) and General Glenn Walters (Marines) address HASC
General Glenn Walters, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, said “operational tempo is as high as it was during the peak of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, requiring us to sacrifice modernization to sustain current readiness.” In other words, troops are “undertrained and poorly equipped,” said General Daniel Allyn, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army.
Often, they must deploy with decades-old technology in need of frequent repair.
“The most important topic today is our military men and women. With the high-ops tempo of our smaller force, what is the impact on staff sergeants and morale of our troops?” Rep. DesJarlais asked General Allyn, who voiced optimism about soldiers’ willingness to re-enlist in the Army.
General Walters repeated the need to hire more personnel to supplement “stressed” Marine re-enlistments. “I know I speak for all of us here when I express our gratitude for all you and our service men and women do,” Rep. DesJarlais responded. Also a member of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, he is working to fix the federal budget and defense acquisitions process to ensure reliable military funding.