The leader of the California National Guard released a statement today that said guard helicopters will be grounded and ammunition will be short due to federal budget sequestration.
"On March 1, the federal government enacted a series of automatic cuts to our national budget known as sequestration," wrote Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin. "While the $85 billion in cuts will impact nearly every federal agency, no sector has been hit harder than the Armed Forces."
He said that the guard's loss of funding will hinder its ability to respond to state emergencies and prepare troops for combat. Effects of the sequestration, according to Baldwin:
The guard expects to stop flying its fleet of Army LUH-72 Lakota helicopters in June because maintenance contracts will go unfunded, halting many state search-and-rescue missions.
The guard's request for ammunition for the balance of the fiscal year has been denied, meaning soldiers will soon fail to meet Army-wide standards for weapons qualification, making them non-deployable.
Interagency training exercises have been cancelled, which will hinder the guard's ability to assist other state agencies in responding to emergencies.
Behavioral health programs, which address post-traumatic stress disorder among our returning combat veterans, will lose "critical" funding.
Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079. Follow him on Twitter @Lindelofnews.
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