South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) on Wednesday urged Congress to reverse budget cuts that are harming the nation’s armed forces, during her annual meeting with senior officers from the state’s military installations.
“We have got to reverse course. We have got to strengthen our military. We have to strengthen the equipment and the resources because we don’t know what is in the future,” Haley said, reported Military Times.
She pointed to the growing threats at home and abroad, and cited the need for military commanders to bolster security following shootings in recent years at military facilities, such as the one at a Marine Corps recruiting center and a Navy reserve center in Chattanooga, Tenn., in July in which five service members were killed.
Lt. Gen. Michael Garrett, commander of U.S. Army Central at Shaw Air Force Base, echoed the governor’s comments. When his command headquarters moved from Fort McPherson to Sumter in 2011, his staff included more than 1,000 soldiers.
But now the Army wants to slash the headquarters staff by 54 percent, leaving a workforce of 539 soldiers and 73 civilians by next fall, Garrett said. There would be no reduction in the command’s responsibilities — supporting military units in the Middle East and Central Asia — associated with the cuts, he added.
Tackling unrest in the Middle East while coping with the staffing changes are his top concerns, Garrett said.