January 22nd - Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, the NGAUS chairman of the board, and retired Brig. Gen. Roy Robinson, the NGAUS president, issued the following statement on the impact of the government shutdown on the National Guard:
"Even though it's now possible that the government shutdown will last only one workday, its impact on National Guardsmen, their families and their employers will linger for weeks, if not months."
"Guard leaders were forced to cancel training for more than 90,000 Guardsmen over the weekend. This includes a major combat exercise involving units from North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia that required six months of planning. Soldiers were in their aircraft and vehicles ready to go when they were told to pack up and go home. A chance to enhance their readiness was lost, as well as two days' pay."
"Training can be rescheduled, but it requires some complex choreography. Training sites must be scheduled months in advance. Commanders have other plans for the months ahead. So do our families. And unlike in the active component, the needs of civilian employers must be considered."
"In addition, most of the Guard's roughly 50,000 military technicians are being furloughed this afternoon. These are the people who maintain our vehicles and aircraft and make sure our soldiers and airmen have everything they need to train or deploy. Hopefully, they will be back on the job tomorrow. We need them."
"Government shutdowns, stopgap budgets and spending caps are making it increasingly difficult to defend the greatest nation on earth. In order to plan, in order to keep our commitments to our troops and their families, and in order to maintain our readiness, we must have predictable, stable budgets."
"If Congress won't do this on an annual basis, it should move to a two-year defense-budget cycle. Our ability to protect lives and property at home and defend our nation's interests abroad in the years ahead may depend on it."