Defense chief assures Enzi on military base and missile cut process
by U.S. Senator Mike Enzi media release
February 28, 2012
Washington, D.C. Ė Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., that the Presidentís budget proposal would not unilaterally eliminate a single military base from every state and confirmed the Defense Department would use the Base Relocation and Closure (BRAC) process, if authorized by Congress, to evaluate where base closures should be made.
Enzi pushed for an answer to reports that the Administration was looking to reduce strategic nuclear deterrent forces beyond the requirements of the New START agreement with Russia. Panetta said that the nuclear capabilities of the United States, specifically the missiles, submarines, and bombers, would be maintained under the Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal. He also noted that there had been no decision made on missile reductions, but stressed that one of the possible options was to maintain current missile levels.
Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, also responded to Enziís questions about the impact of budget decisions related to the Air Force and Air Guard. Enzi encouraged the Secretary and Chairman to look at the relationship between the Wyoming Air National Guardís 187th Airlift Squadron and the Air Forceís 30th Airlift Squadron. Enzi said this type of active-associate unit should be used as a model for the future of the military.
Enzi also shared concerns he heard from a Wyoming service member family asking why those with TRICARE coverage would pay more and yet receive less coverage than those who receive welfare assistance.
Enzi took particular interest in this issue because he was the co-founder of the Air Force Caucus.
To watch Senator Enziís questioning of Sec. Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, from todayís Senate Budget Committee hearing, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd8GFA5zJEY. The video is about five minutes long.
To download a copy of Senator Enziís questioning from the hearing, click here:http://enzi.senate.gov/uploads/EnziPanetta.zip.