Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement today after U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s Defense Department budget announcement:
“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am very pleased to see that Secretary Panetta is focused on increasing investment in our cyber capabilities, such as those we develop in New York’s Mohawk Valley.
“I am concerned, however, about the mention of a BRAC round, which can be very harmful to the economic wellbeing of many communities, without producing significant savings. I think we should not rush any BRAC proposal. I also agree with the Secretary about the importance of our Reserve Components and will work to ensure that the Air Force is leveraging the total force, including the National Guard and Reserves, as effectively as are the other Services.
“I want to ensure that any reductions in the Army’s end strength do not undermine our readiness and that we leverage our domestic training that allows for a diverse and challenging training experience. I will fight to protect New York’s military assets that are critical to keeping America safe.”
Since becoming a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Gillibrand has been visiting the more than 20 major military assets across New York State to meet with local commanders, and discuss current and potential missions. In October, Senator Gillibrand convened a summit of New York State’s military community in an effort to put New York’s military installations in a position of strength for the long term.