Congressman John B. Larson (CT01) released the following statement regarding the proposed defense budget for Fiscal Year 2013:
"Yesterday, Secretary Leon Panetta outlined his vision for the Department of Defense. While I understand the constraints of tight budgets and I appreciate the Secretary's efforts to make our military more efficient, I have serious concerns with a number of his proposals.
"I am particularly concerned with Secretary Panetta's announcement that he will attempt to terminate the C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft - a project critical to our own CT Air National Guard. That's why I am committed to working with my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee and the Appropriations Committee to ensure that any budget that moves forward protects the manpower, readiness, and relevance of our National Guard units.
"Additionally, Secretary Panetta's announcement that he will be delaying the production of 179 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is extremely troubling. It is time that we pull together and move forward with this critical national security priority. Delay adds additional costs to the overall program, places a significant strain on our nation's industrial base, and jeopardizes the jobs of the highly skilled men and women working on the JSF all across Connecticut. This is simply unacceptable.
"This is only the beginning of a long process and I am committed to working with my colleagues in the house and with Department of Defense officials to protect these critical programs."