REP. ANDREWS BACKS PLAN TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, IMPROVE MILITARY READINESS
I recently joined a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives and backed legislation to support our troops, and ensure they have the time at home they deserve after serving in combat. The Ensuring Military Readiness Through Stability and Predictability Deployment Policy Act was approved by a vote of 229-194.
I am incredibly proud of the brave men and women of our military and one of my top priorities is ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed. That means providing them with the time to return home, rest, recuperate and train before they return to battle. Our troops have risked their lives for our nation and Congress has a responsibility to stand up for them.
This legislation strengthens the American military by mandating minimum periods of rest and recuperation for units and members of regular and reserve components of our Armed Forces between deployments. The bill states that if a unit or member of a regular component of the Armed Forces deploys to Iraq, they will have an equivalent amount of time at home before they are redeployed.
The legislation helps alleviate a significant military readiness crisis. When the Bush Administration took office in 2001, all active duty Army divisions were rated at the highest readiness levels and were fully manned, equipped, and trained. Now, the Administration's failed policies in Iraq have depleted our great military and put a tremendous strain on our troops. Already, an estimated 250,000 soldiers in the Army and Marine Corps have served more than one tour in Iraq and each one of the Army's available active duty combat brigades has served at least a 12-month tour in Iraq or Afghanistan. And this spring, the Defense Secretary announced that all active duty Army soldiers would have their tours in Iraq extended from 12 to 15 months.
I was proud to support legislation that protects our troops and will help strengthen our military. The legislation was backed by a bipartisan majority in Congress and was supported by Veterans for America and the Reserve Enlisted Association.