HULSHOF STATEMENT REGARDING BRAC
WASHINGTON, DC. - - The following is a statement from U.S. Congressman Kenny Hulshof regarding the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) vote in the House:
"In principle, I support the BRAC process as a way to promote efficiency and streamline our nation's military. That being said, I am unconvinced that the BRAC commission's recommendations in their final form will improve our nation's defense capabilities. For these reasons, I have voted to reject the BRAC report.
"I am particularly troubled by the proposal to strip the 15 F-15 fighters from the 131st Fighter Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard. This proposal is detrimental to not only the St. Louis region, but to our nation's overall military readiness. As a result of the BRAC recommendations, our nation could stand to lose some of the most qualified pilots in the Air National Guard.
"The original goal of BRAC was to phase-out unneeded, outdated military infrastructure. Past BRAC rounds have by and large achieved this goal. In contrast, the 2005 BRAC round has provided little in the way of cost savings, mostly because the Pentagon used this opportunity to address objectives unrelated to the stated purpose of the BRAC process. In fact, some of the commission's final recommendations would actually increase costs to taxpayers.
"It has also been noted that the Pentagon used flawed assumptions in calculating the savings achieved by this round of BRAC. When these assumptions are removed, as the Government Accountability Office believes they should be, BRAC saves taxpayers less than the 1995 round, despite impacting more bases.
"Because of these flaws and weaknesses, I cannot support these recommendations, and cast my vote accordingly."