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Congressman Ralph Abraham

Representing the 5th District of Louisiana

Louisiana Delegation Supports National Guard

October 9, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and Bill Cassidy, M.D. R-La., and Reps. Ralph Abraham, M.D. R-Alto, Charles Boustany, Jr., M.D., R-Lafayette, Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Garret Graves, R-La., offered their support to the National Guard by supplying written testimony to the National Commission on the Future of the Army in Washington on Wednesday.

“We write today to express our support for the 450,000 dedicated troops in the National Guard of the United States, whose selfless service and sacrifice provide a critical service to our country. The Louisiana delegation has been actively involved in ensuring that the funding needs for the National Guard and Army are proportionately met, including drafting language during the Armed Services Committee negotiations which led to the ultimate establishment of this Commission on the Future of the Army,” wrote the members.

The Louisiana delegation has consistently advocated for adequate funding levels to ensure the National Guard can continue their job, especially in a time of uncertainty

“The cost effectiveness and efficiency of the National Guard is unmatched,” Dr. Abraham said. “The support of National Guard troops is essential in Louisiana, the country, and the world. They provide a vital operational readiness, and I will continue to fight for the Guard in Congress to ensure their needs are met.”

“I’ve fought for years to ensure that our military – especially those based in Louisiana – have the support and funds needed to continue protecting Louisiana citizens and preserving our national security. Louisiana’s guardsmen have demonstrated how invaluable they are to Louisianians during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” Sen. Vitter said. “In order to maintain the Guard’s effectiveness, we cannot afford to undercut the bedrock of its the force structure. In fact, the Guard should be expanding, not decreasing their roles.”

 “I will forever be grateful and humbled by the sacrifices our military members and their families have made to protect our liberties both at home and abroad.   In a time of uncertain budgets, we have to ensure our current and future Active, Reserve, and National Guard forces remain as trained, ready, and as lethal as possible,” Rep. Boustany said.

“The combined Air and Army National Guard components are essential to our long-term national security strategy,” Rep. Graves said. “Our citizen soldiers complement our full-time service members in a way that is both cost-effective and operationally efficient – giving us a competitive advantage in today’s military climate. It’s imperative we avoid reductions to National Guard end strength and force structure, which could compromise the Guard’s ability to perform at the high level it does today.”

The National Commission on the Future of the Army (NCAF) was commissioned by the 2015 NDAA. Members of NCAF attended a special meeting in Washington organized by the House National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus to hear the views of congress regarding operational capacity and readiness of Army structure.

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