“Today we are outranged, outgunned, and outdated.”
-General Daniel B. Allyn
Our servicemen and women are flying broken airplanes, cannibalizing equipment, and forfeiting training hours for maintenance work. Budget cuts to defense spending have created a readiness crisis for our troops. This is more than a disservice; it is an issue of safety for ourselves and for our heroes in uniform.
You might remember that on December 12, 2017, President Trump signed the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. In short, this law specifies how much money is allotted to our military personnel and how it should be spent.
Now the next step is to get that money into the proper hands to start making much-needed changes. In other words, now it’s time to get the funding to the military.
Nobody would argue against the need to fund our military. We live in a dangerous world and our first defense is our men and women in uniform.
For far too long, our servicemen and women have been without the necessary equipment and training they need to keep themselves and our country safe (thanks in large part to the Obama administration’s mammoth cuts to our defense budget).
The numbers speak for themselves. See exactly why we need to increase military funding in 2018.
Why we need to increase military funding
- A total of 185 service members lost their lives in non-combat accidents over the past three years (more than four times as many who were killed in combat).
- The number of ground and aviation mishaps per 100,000 Marines in 2017 was 10.49, up about 60 percent from 2014.
- Less than 50 percent of our Air Force’s planes are combat ready.
- Navy and Marine Corps have just over 50 percent of the aircraft necessary for their training and operations.
- More than 60 percent of the Navy’s F-18s cannot fly.
- 80 percent of Marine aviation units lack the minimum number of ready basic aircraft.
- Only five of the Army’s 58 brigade combat teams are ready to “fight tonight”.
- The average age of Air Force plane is 27 years old.
- The newest systems in U.S. nuclear forces are more than 20 years old.
- A maintenance backlog has idled 15 nuclear-powered attack submarines for a total of 177 months.
- Cannibalization rates for Navy aircrafts have increased on 10 of the 15 airframes in the fleet.
- The Army’s modernization funding has declined 74 percent from 2008-2015.
We cannot keep piling missions on our service members without ensuring they have the training and equipment they need to succeed. For six years, we have just been getting by — cutting resources as the world becomes more dangerous, asking more and more of those who serve, and putting off tough choices.
The numbers have to change.
Repairing and rebuilding our military is key to defending our country, but it’s also the number one way we can care for our troops — men and women who have chosen to protect us.