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Adjutants General to Contest Air Force Plan at Special BRAC Commission Hearing in Atlanta

Contact: John Goheen of the National Guard Association of the United States, 202-408-5882

WASHINGTON, June 29 /U.S. Newswire/ -- State National Guard leaders will argue against Air Force plans to ground one-third of the Air National Guard at a special Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) hearing in Atlanta tomorrow.

The BRAC Commission, which is currently reviewing and evaluating the Defense Department's realignment and closure recommendations, granted the hearing at the request of the Adjutants General Association of the United States.

"The adjutants general were shut out of the Air Force BRAC process," said retired Brig. Gen. Stephen M. Koper, NGAUS president, who plans to attend the event. "This hearing will be, for most of these generals, their first real chance to formally contribute to this process. We commend the commission for this opportunity."

Some BRAC commissioners and many in Congress have already expressed concern over the impact of the Pentagon's recommendations on the Air National Guard.

The scheme would eliminate all of the aircraft from 29 Air National Guard flying units and leave six states without a flying unit. It may also force thousands of the Total Air Force's most experienced air crews and maintainers to leave military service.

The commission invited a representative panel of adjutants general to testify tomorrow. On the agenda are the top Guard officers from Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Nebraska, Ohio, Vermont and West Virginia.

They are set to outline the significant flaws in the Air Force's data- collection and analysis and the overlooked high cost of cutting Air Guard units. They also will present BRAC's potential consequences to recruiting and retention and homeland and national security.

"Some of the adjutants general testifying aren't from states significantly affected by the BRAC recommendations," said General Koper. "But as a group they see a flawed process and the devastating impact BRAC could have not only on the Air Guard, but the nation."

The hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.

http://www.usnewswire.com/

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/© 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/



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