Vitter Fights to Protect Louisiana Military Bases from Budget Cu - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Vitter Fights to Protect Louisiana Military Bases from Budget Cuts

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(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today reacted to the Department of Defense five-year plan and 2015 budget proposal outlined by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

"Some good news in the budget proposal is that the Defense Department won't cut the Army below 440,000 – 450,000 soldiers, which is the absolute minimum to maintain our national security. But frankly, the Administration is ignoring reality," Vitter said. "Cutting our capabilities should be our last resort, especially when the Defense Department has identified over $23 billion in wasted funds. I'm going to work with Army and Pentagon leadership to make sure that our military bases in Louisiana, which are vital to maintaining our national security, remain a priority. Maintaining a strong Army is key to our national defense."

The Army recently announced its second force restructuring evaluation on how it will meet the lowered troop number. Last year the Army released their 2020 evaluation which resulted in minimal force reduction at Fort Polk, and the Army made commitments for improved forces capabilities at the base. 

"The Army has continued to recognize that Fork Polk is one of the premier training grounds shaping our nation's military forces," Vitter added. "Fort Polk's forces and the Joint Readiness Training Center continue to be huge priorities both for our national security and communities in Louisiana. I'll continue to fight to make sure our troops at Fort Polk have the support they need."

Additionally, Vitter said he's committed to working to maintain Barksdale Air Force Base and the B-52's Strategic Nuclear Triad. Hagel's announcement today reiterated support for the nuclear triad.

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