Kentucky legislators respond to Army troop cuts announcement

Kentucky legislators respond to Army troop cuts announcement
Brett Guthrie (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News)
Brett Guthrie (Source: Dale Mader, WAVE 3 News)
Sen. Mitch McConnell conducts business in the Senate chamber after becoming majority leader. (Source: U.S. Senate)
Sen. Mitch McConnell conducts business in the Senate chamber after becoming majority leader. (Source: U.S. Senate)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Department of Defense announced July 9 their plan to cut by 40,000 soldiers in the U.S. Army by the end of 2017. The following statements have been received by WAVE 3 News from members of Kentucky's federal legislative delegation about the announcement.

Congressman Brett Guthrie:

"This news is very concerning given the growing threats our country faces overseas. ISIL is proving they are stronger than ever, and just this past Monday President Obama said that destroying ISIL would be a generational effort. The president's comment comes mere weeks after admitting that he doesn't have a complete strategy for defeating this enemy.

"We need to ensure we maintain the best military in the world and that our servicemen and women are well-trained and equipped – goals that will be difficult to achieve if the president plans to cut tens of thousands of the men and women in uniform who stand ready to respond to the call of duty, along with thousands of civilian staff who support our active duty soldiers.

"The House recently passed a defense appropriations bill that funds our military operations at nearly $25 billion above last year's levels and $800 million above the president's budget request. I hope the Senate will also take up a defense spending bill soon.

"Despite today's announcement, Fort Knox should see a small gain in personnel overall including the expected re-stationing of units to and from Fort Bragg. The tremendous community support and the strong leadership at Fort Knox have ensured that this award-winning and unique institution remains central to the Army's mission.

"I will continue to work with officials at Fort Knox, the surrounding community, and at the Pentagon to maintain the facility's critical role in training and serving our nation's soldiers, and I am firmly committed to providing full funding for our nation's military to ensure a strong defense."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:

"Service members and Army civilians at Fort Campbell and Fort Knox are critical to the security of our country. While Kentucky's Army installations will not face the substantial reductions announced today impacting facilities in several other states, I remain deeply concerned that the Obama administration's far-reaching cuts to our armed forces are dangerous to our country's national security, particularly in light of significant conflict across the globe."

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