SHAHEEN: MORE WORK REMAINS TO ADDRESS OUR MILITARY’S READINESS CHALLENGES

March 26, 2014

(Washington, DC) – This afternoon, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management, called for future investments in our armed forces on behalf of our national security and men and women in uniform during a hearing on the current readiness of U.S. Forces.  During her hearing, Shaheen also questioned military leadership on the consequences of federal budget cuts on the U.S. military. The hearing, held with Ranking Member Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), featured testimony from General John Campbell, Vice Chief of Staff for the Army, General John Paxton, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Larry Spencer, Vice Chief of Staff for the Air Force, and Vice Admiral Phil Cullom, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics.

“Last year’s bipartisan budget did not adequately address our force readiness problem. It only provided a temporary solution,” Senator Shaheen said. “The consequences of across the board budget cuts are felt not only in our active forces, but in our National Guard and Reserve units as well, and we must address them in the long-term.”

“We must invest in our military’s readiness on behalf of our national security, particularly considering the threats our country faces,” Shaheen added.

Shaheen specifically asked military leadership if the FY 2015 budget request mitigates the risk to readiness caused by sequestration and what the direct impact of continued sequestration would be on military programs.

Shaheen also reiterated her strong support for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and its workers, asking what plans were in place to ensure shipyards’ mission capabilities are maintained in the event sequestration continues.  Shaheen has been vocal about the negative impact of sequestration for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and military readiness as a whole and has called repeatedly for the use of targeted spending reductions as opposed to across the board cuts to lower federal spending.

“The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard plays a critical role in strengthening our Navy, our national security and New Hampshire’s economy. I’ll continue doing everything I can to support our shipyard and its workers,” Shaheen added.  

The Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee oversees military readiness including training, logistics, and maintenance; military construction; contracting and acquisition policy; business and financial management; base realignment and closure; defense industrial and technology base policies; and industrial operations, including depots, shipyards, arsenals, and ammunition plants.