By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, July 14, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) reacted to news that the administration of President Barack H Obama was cutting the Army to its smallest size since before World War II.
The Army announced that Fort Rucker in Alabama would see its force reduced by 186 soldiers, a six percent reduction in force, by September 2017. That reduction also does not include civilian employees. The Army announced nationwide reduction of 40,000 personnel between now and September 2017, due to sequestration.
Rep. Roby said in her statement, “A six percent reduction at Fort Rucker is not nearly as devastating as the 40 percent cut some had projected. And, as of right now, this won’t affect the aviation student load. Those are both positives. However, we don’t need to be cutting our force at all. We need to be growing and making sure our military has what it needs to meet global threats.”
Rep. Roby voted against the 2011 law that created sequestration and has fought to change it ever since.
The six percent reduction at Fort Rucker is much lower than the 40 percent cut some had projected. Fort Benning, Georgia was devastated by a massive reduction of 3,400 troops. Fort Hood, Texas is seeing its force cut by 3,450.
Congresswoman Roby said, “This is the reason I have fought against sequestration from day one. At a time when the world is getting more dangerous, ill-conceived cuts are forcing the Army to shrink to dangerous levels.
For the last several months, local communities have rallied to build support for Fort Rucker and demonstrate its importance to the Army. Roby thanked local officials and the greater Fort Rucker community for helping avoid a much worse scenario for the post.
Rep. Roby said, “I appreciate the work of so many mayors and community leaders in the Wiregrass who rallied support for Fort Rucker as concerns grew about cuts. Such a strong demonstration of support truly helps me make the case in Washington for protecting the critical mission at Fort Rucker.”
Rep. Roby warned however “This fight is not over. If we don’t fix sequestration, the next round of cuts will be more harmful. I hope the shocking force reduction the Army is being forced to make nationwide serves as a wakeup call to Washington for the real world impact of these ill-conceived budget cuts. I remain committed to fixing sequestration and to making sure the Army’s cost-saving aviation restructuring plan proceeds without interruption.”
In a federal system, the primary purpose of the Federal government is the common defense of the sovereign states as well as providing the common diplomatic voice of the states, yet defense is the only part of the federal government that is continuing to shrink. According to US Debt Clock.org, the US only spends $590.3 billion on defense and that includes the operations against ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Defense only accounts for sixteen point two percent of the $3,640 billion federal budget: a dramatically lower percentage than historical norms.
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.