New York Army National Guard soldiers train at Camp Smith, N.Y. (Army)
WASHINGTON — The US Army National Guard is asking Congress to find an extra $1.5 billion to meet its unfunded requirements in fiscal year 2015, primarily to fund training and operations, according to a copy of the list obtained by Defense News.
Due to budget cuts and the winding down of troop requirements in Afghanistan, the Guard was not funded for any brigade-sized Combat Training Center (CTC) rotations in 2015. The Guard, therefore, is requesting $45 million to send two brigades through to intensive operational training.
The active Army is being funded for 19 brigade CTC rotations in 2015, Army Secretary John McHugh told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday morning. Until Congress offered some sequester relief in January, the Army was only planning on seven CTC rotations this year.
The biggest line in the Guard’s request also involves training. The service is requesting $480 million to “allow 3 BCTs [brigade combat teams] to achieve company level of readiness; 3 BCTs to achieve platoon levels of readiness … and all Functional/Multi-Functional units to achieve company level of readiness.”
The Guard has said that under the current budget cuts, its units would be able to train only to squad and company levels of readiness, while not being able to afford to train for complex operations, such as brigade-sized maneuvers with air and ground elements working in tandem.
The Guard is also asking for $137 million for depot maintenance, which is funded only to 33.6 percent of its requirement. “The increase improves funding to 48.83% for maintenance of aviation end items and spares HEMTTs, PLS, M915A3 Tractors, and M917 Dump Trucks to improve readiness and support an Operational Force,” the Guard wrote. ■