By Reps. Randy Forbes, Rob Wittman, and Scott Rigell
The Daily Press
If you were told that your son or daughter was going to fly on an airplane that had only 70 percent of its required maintenance, or whose pilot had trained for less hours than optimally required to maintain proficiency, would you allow him or her to get on the plane? Of course not. Yet thanks to sequestration, the U.S. military is facing a situation where our sons and daughters are being asked to do more with less training, less maintenance, and less modern platforms. Today, the military is experiencing the greatest readiness crisis since the Vietnam War. Should the president and Congress fail to find a solution to our nation's budget woes, readiness will likely degrade even further. Forced to find immediate savings, the services have curtailed training and deferred maintenance in ways that threaten to damage our national security for decades.
Sequestration's roughly $500 billion in defense cuts over the next decade have come on top of the administration's already substantial reductions to national defense spending. Accordingly, the services have chosen to absorb the majority of these cuts by reducing their near-term readiness, which generally means less training for the men and women wearing our nation's uniform.
For Army and Marine units, other than those scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan, this means substantially less time firing live ammunition and fewer opportunities to train with the vehicles they may eventually take into combat.
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