Mr. WEST. I spent 22 years of Active Duty service in the United States Army. One of the things that seriously concerns me is this dark specter that hangs over our country right now that is called ``sequestration.''
It would mean that we will hollow out our military force: that we would have the smallest ground force since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1915, the smallest number of fighter aircraft that we've ever had since the creation of the modern United States Air Force.
This morning, at the Army Aviation Caucus breakfast, I sat between two distinguished fliers. One was the commander of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Another was Chief Warrant Officer Ford. Between the two of them, they had almost 40 deployments into combat zones. Also at that breakfast this morning was a former cadet of mine, now Lieutenant Colonel Dave Almquist, a distinguished master aviator in the United States military.
Our men and women are watching us--the men and women who are the best and the brightest that this country can produce. But as well, our enemies are watching us to see what we will do to our United States military. Let us learn the lessons from post-World War I, post-World War II, and post-Korean War. Let's not gut our United States military. Let's own up to our responsibilities in article I, section 8.