A Nebraska Congressman worries about military readiness.
We asked Congressman Don Bacon, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, whether military readiness is high on Congress’ priority list.
“I will tell you, in the Armed Services Committee, I think it’s the highest concern we have,” Bacon tells Nebraska Radio Network. “When airplanes can’t fly and people aren’t getting trained that results in service men and women dying and we know that so we’ve got to fix it.”
Bacon, former commander of Offutt Air Force Base, says it will take two to three years of sustained hard work and increased funding to fix it. Bacon estimates it would take a 10% increase in the military budget to provide the money needed.
Military commitments span the globe. Bacon says aside from the current obligations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has commitments to NATO, with the Baltic states and Poland, to protect South Korea against the growing belligerence of North Korea, and to maintain the free flow of ships through the South China Sea as well as protect allies in the region.
“You can’t do all that with a reduction in budget and the CRs (continuing resolutions),” according to Bacon. “Do we want this strategy? Then, we’ve got to fund to it. If we don’t want to fund to it, we need to rethink our strategy.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]