Keating prevents cut of 141 local Air National Guard personnel at the Otis
The Continued Resolution passed last night
After a long-standing effort to prevent the cut of 141 local Air National Guard personnel at the Otis Air National Guard (ANG) Base on the Massachusetts Military Reservation, Rep. Bill Keating voted last night in favor of language he crafted to do just that
The U.S. Air Force’s decision to eliminate this unit – the 102nd Air Operations Group (AOG) – was a part of the improperly vetted Force Structure Changes announced by the Air Force in February 2012. It would have critically undermined national security objectives, in addition to having a negative impact on the local economy in Cape Cod, where ANG positions generate $45.6 million in annual consumer expenditures in the region.
The Continued Resolution, which passed last night, included language crafted by Rep. Keating to ensure that the 102nd AOG remain intact until an appropriate review is conducted regarding the critical nature of the unit’s mission to the safety of U.S. service members overseas.
Said Rep Bill Keating:
“The 102nd Air Operations Group is vital to our homeland security, period. As I’ve said before, these broad job cuts the Air Force proposed appear to save the military money, but in reality, the overhead costs associated with many of the duties this unit performs are simply going to pushed unto other federal branches located on Cape Cod, namely the Coast Guard and Homeland Security. It’s not smart money-wise or security-wise to cut these jobs. And for the 141 skilled members of our military who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe and would be out of work, it is unfair.”
Said Colonel Anthony Schiavi, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Military Reservation:
"We are immensely grateful for Congressman Keating's continued and steadfast support for the 102nd Air Operations Group and the critical mission support they provide to the 608th Air and Space Operations Center at Barksdale AFB, Global Strike Command and US Strategic Command. The Airmen of the 102nd AOG remain focused and committed to supporting the Air Force mission of Command and Control with dedication, professionalism and resolve"
Rep. Keating has a consistent record of fighting for the 102nd Air Operations Group, which is located in Falmouth, MA and supports a mission to provide planning, command and control, and tracking of global air force assets, including for the strategic bomber force, which is engaged in global operations that support Americans and our Allies on the ground.
In April, he led a letter of the entire Massachusetts delegation to both Secretary Donley and General Schwartz of the Air Force notifying them of the importance of this unit and the fact that the appropriate Commands were not consulted or given alternative options to support the mission of protecting US lives once this unit was lost.
Rep. Keating followed these communications in May with the introduction of an amendment into the National Defense Authorization to save this unit and others like it that support active duty troops overseas. After numerous discussions with appropriators, his language to save all critical missions was adopted into the appropriations bill and repeated in last night’s Continued Resolution.