Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) released the following statement in response to Army Secretary Mark Esper’s recent decision to follow The National Commission on the Future of the Army’s recommendation to retain four Attack-Reconnaissance Battalions, each with 18 aircraft, in four states – Utah, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.
“I am delighted that the Army has publicly announced its stationing decision for the AH-64 Apache Attack-Reconnaissance Battalions, allowing Utah’s airmen to continue their mission for our nation and contributions to total Army end strength,” Senator Lee stated. “After fighting for performance-based decision making for four years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, it is appropriate that Utah’s guardsmen and women will continue fulfilling their commitments to our country through their contributions to readiness with the Apache.”
The Secretary of the Army delegated the stationing decision to the Chief, National Guard Bureau. To facilitate the stationing decision, the Director, Army National Guard led a collaborative, transparent process that included input of the Adjutants General of the nine affected states. The process emphasized readiness and was based on objective criteria that all nine Adjutants General agreed upon. Based on the recommendations of the Director, Army National Guard and inputs of the Adjutants General of the affected states, the Chief, National Guard Bureau decided to retain the four highest performing battalions.
Sen. Lee met with the Utah National Guard’s Adjutant General, Major General Jeff Burton this morning in his Washington, DC office, expressing gratitude and congratulating him on this exciting news.