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Rehberg Pledges to Fight National Guard Cuts

Location: Helena, MT

Rehberg Pledges to Fight National Guard Cuts
January 18, 2006

HELENA, MT - Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today said he'll fight federal plans to cut the Army National Guard's payroll. Rehberg's comments came in reaction to a Pentagon news conference today, in which Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey said the U.S. may reduce the number of Army National Guard brigade combat teams to 28 from 34.

"This number is 17,000 soldiers less than authorized by Congress," Rehberg said in a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "I urge you to consider the negative impacts of this proposal on Montana and the nation as a whole."

Rehberg said he'll meet next week with Gen. Randy Mosley, adjutant general of the Montana National Guard, "to discuss and strategize" against the proposed cuts. "I'm very concerned about the negative effect of these cuts on the Montana National Guard, and I'm going to fight this," Rehberg, a member of the House Military Quality of Life Appropriations subcommittee, explained.

"The Montana Army National Guard has operated in theaters around the world, and is valiantly serving in the War on Terror," Rehberg said in his letter to Rumsfeld. "At this point, more than 40 percent of the Montana National Guard Force have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have serious concerns that further troop reductions would negatively impact both military and homeland security missions, as well as regional deployments such as fighting wildfires in states like Montana."

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