U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) reacted to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s announcement about further defense department reductions, including the commencement of a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process and a reduction of the Air Force’s tactical air squadrons, saying that Utah’s defense facilities, most notably Hill Air Force Base, are central to America’s defense.
“Utah’s defense facilities, including Hill Air Force base, with their unmatched workforce are and will remain central to a strong national defense. I will carefully scrutinize these defense reductions to ensure no unwise or imprudent decisions are made that could leave our nation or our state vulnerable,” said Hatch. “Moving forward, I will be in close consultation with the Air Force, my colleagues in Utah’s congressional delegation, Governor Herbert, state legislators and leaders around the state to lay out why Hill Air Force base is second to none and must remain a central figure in keeping America safe. Lastly, I fear the White House is bowing to its liberal, anti-military base by putting the Defense Department over a barrel instead of making the tough decisions, like reforming our broken entitlement programs, to confront our record debt.”
The Defense Department announced today that they intend to cut 10 percent of the Air Force’s tactical air squadrons, as well as cuts across other branches of the military.
The BRAC process must be initiated by an act of Congress.###