Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ford Co-Sponsor Legislation To Protect And Strengthen National Guard

Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. today announced that he is co-sponsoring legislation to give the National Guard a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to elevate the Guard's status in the Department of Defense. In a statement, Ford said:

"This legislation is long overdue. For too long, the National Guard has been excluded from critical decisions about our national security. Against the Guard's advice, the Department of Defense has taken away the 118th Airlift Wing's planes in Nashville and reduced the National Guard's overall fighting force by 17,000. This could mean 1,000 fewer Guard slots here in Tennessee. These decisions do not just hurt the Guard - they make us less safe here at home.

"With a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Guard might have been able to prevent these decisions. The Guard accounts for almost half of our fighting force in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it took a lead role in responding to the recent Tennessee tornadoes and the Gulf Coast hurricanes. We should give the Guard a position in the Pentagon worthy of its contribution to our safety and our way of life."