May 18 marked a key victory in Congressman Marlin Stutzman’s ongoing fight for the 122nd Fighter Wing. The House of Representatives passed legislation that temporarily freezes any personnel and aircraft transfers by the Secretary of Defense.
“This bill brings welcome news to taxpayers, sets the right strategy for our national defense, and honors the work and service of the Hoosiers serving in the 122nd Fighter Wing,” Stutzman stated. “This has been a full-court press for our Air National Guard. The math is simple and I make the case to nearly everyone I meet here in Washington. The 122nd Fighter Wing operates at just 28 cents on the dollar when compared to an active duty base. If we’re serious about tackling the national debt, it makes no sense to target an efficient and effective base like this. I’m proud that this bill takes immediate steps to protect the Air National Guard from disproportionate and harmful reductions. I will continue to do everything in my power to defend our Hoosier warfighters.”
Two weeks ago, Congressman Stutzman led 60 members of Congress in advocating for an alternative to the President’s Fiscal Year 2013 Air Force Budget that more fully employs the capabilities of the Air National Guard, including the 122nd Fighter Wing. On May 18, that call was answered.
Section 1076 of H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, prevents any change in personnel and aircraft during fiscal year 2013, until the Secretary of Defense submits to the congressional defense committees an agreement entered into by the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and the Chief of Staff of the Army and approved by the Secretary of Defense which includes an economic analysis and alternative options for realignment of personnel and aircraft. The bill further requires a Government Accountability Office study on the economic impact of any realignments. The bill now awaits Senate action.
Last year, Congressman Stutzman opposed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 due to controversial detainment provisions introduced by the Senate. This year’s bill does not grant any new detainment authority. In fact, Section 1032 of this year’s legislation recognizes the right of habeas corpus as “the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom….” Congressman Stutzman voted for amendments that clarify existing law and work to ensure strong provisions for civil liberties.