Proposed cuts by the U.S. Air Force could hit Michigan hard at its Air National Guard facilities in Harrison Township and Battle Creek.
The Air Force plan would cut more than 700 guard and civilian jobs at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township. The base would lose A-10 fighter jets but add more tanker planes.
Battle Creek's Kellogg Air National Guard Base would lose 122 jobs along with cargo planes. However, the base would add a unit to operate drones.
U.S. Representative Candice Miller released the following statement Tuesday night in response to the proposed cuts:
"The Administration has put forward the idea that these cuts are required to meet new budget realities, but I believe it is a step in the wrong direction. I believe the cuts disproportionately hit the Air National Guard, specifically the Michigan Air Guard, and these cuts fly in the face of the Administration’s commitment to shared sacrifice. Recently, 49 Governors and 54 Adjutant Generals sent communications to the Pentagon objecting to these cuts and I will be glad to work with them to get the cuts reversed. The Air Guard is much more cost effective than the regular Air Force and at no loss in capability. As a result the taxpayers get huge bang for the buck from the Air Guard. In particular, the Michigan Air Guard has performed brilliantly when called to action across the globe and regularly helps to defend our homeland. Why the Administration should seek to reduce the Air Guard force in this way is incomprehensible. The symbol of the National Guard is the Minuteman because the Guard was born of the citizen militias that secured our freedom in our revolution. It is up to members of Congress, not only in Michigan but across the nation, to now hear the minuteman call and step up to defend the National Guard."
Senator Carl Levin is planning a hearing to learn how the cuts were decided.