Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert joined 48 other Governors to sign a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta opposing the disproportionate cuts facing the Air National Guard. "I am extremely proud of our Utah Air National Guard and the critical role they play at home and abroad. Our Utah airmen are not only top-notch in performing their duties; they also represent an extraordinary state partner for domestic disasters and state emergencies," said the Governor.
Part of the U.S. Air Force's fiscal 2013 budget request, the cut proposal recommends that the Air National Guard absorb 59 percent of the total aircraft budget reductions and approximately six times the per capita personnel reductions. Yet, as the governors' letter states, the Air National Guard provides 35 percent of the U.S. Air Force's capability for six percent of the budget.
"We are grateful Governor Herbert supports a more thoughtful, inclusive process on the part of the Air Force in this far-reaching decision," said the Adjutant General, Major General Brian L. Tarbet, leader of Utah's National Guard.
The letter from the governors adds, "As Commanders-in-Chief, we appreciate the need to reorganize, restructure and modernize the military to meet new threats and economic realities." It also requests that the Dept. of Defense work with governors "to fashion solutions that best serve the interests of this nation."
Governor Herbert said, "Bottom line: This proposal does not reflect the most cost-effective way to make necessary cuts."