Sinema Raises Concerns About Military Cuts in Letter to the Secretary of Defense

Mar 5, 2020

Senator’s letter follows the administration’s announcement to use the emergency declaration and cut funding for
Tucson’s Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema wrote to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper raising her concerns over the administration’s plans to use the emergency declaration to cut $3.8 billion from the military. Sinema raised specific concerns regarding cuts to Tucson’s Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center and the Air Force procurement of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter based at Luke Air Force Base, which will affect military readiness and installations in Arizona.
“This reprogramming is shortsighted and does not consider the future national security of the nation. I fear the DOD is sacrificing readiness with this detrimental and counterproductive budgetary cut,” wrote Sinema.
In February, the administration announced additional military funding cuts under the emergency declaration. The cuts announced include $156 million in funding from the F-35 program, part of which is housed at Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base and MCAS Yuma, and $1.3 billion in funding from the National Guard and Reserve Equipment budget, which primarily funds the 162nd Test Center in Tucson, Arizona.
Sinema wrote in her letter to Secretary Esper that the cuts to the F-35 program may result in continued delay of two squadrons of F-35s slated for Luke Air Force Base, risking military readiness.
Sinema has repeatedly joined a bipartisan group of her colleagues in voting to end the emergency declaration and protect Congressionally-mandated military funds.
Read the full text of Sinema’s letter HERE