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For Immediate Release: September 21, 2004                            Contact: Carrie Sloan (202) 225-2539

Statement by Chairman Duncan Hunter on Allegations of a Secret Military Reserve Troop Call-up After the November Election

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement on the allegations of a secret military reserve troop call-up after the November Presidential election.

"I am amazed that Senator Kerry and some of my Democratic House colleagues are alleging that there is a secret plan by the Bush Administration to call-up additional reserve troops after the November Presidential election. This statement is inaccurate and just plain wrong.

"The Department of Defense regularly activates reserve troops and units as part of the normal rotational cycle. Notifications for these rotations have been going on for months in plain view of members of the military, the public and Congress. The so-called "secret plan" is actually the beginning of the next scheduled rotation of troops in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The mobilization period for some of the units in this phase of operations will begin in November, as a result of the 180 days required to prepare for deployment in the spring of 2005. Reserve units will be an important part of the next phase of operations but there is no plan for any dramatic change in ratios beyond those being currently used. This comes as no surprise to me or any other Member of Congress that has been paying attention. Instead of being criticized, the Pentagon should be commended for proceeding in a way that gives military families and loved ones time to plan and prepare for these rotations.

"To further clarify the issue, I personally just discussed this matter with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Richard Myers, who assured me in a follow-up letter our current reserve troop rotation plan remains unchanged and is still in effect.

"Chairman Myers said in the letter, 'With regards to the recent comments concerning our Reserve and National Guard alert notification process, I can assure you there has never been any guidance to defer notification until after the Presidential election.'

"Americans can be proud of our military men and women and their willingness to continue performing a tough mission with dedication and bravery. However, I regret that some have chosen to politicize this issue by attempting to make an issue where there is none. Our military forces deserve better than these attempts to use them as pawns in a political election."

NOTE: Attached is a copy of Chairman Myers' letter. [PDF 85KB]


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