By CHAD ABSHIRE
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and National Guard commanders recently discussed cost saving measures to “reduce the country’s reliance on expensive contractors,” a press release from the senator’s office stated.
Manchin spoke with West Virginia’s Adjutant Gen. for the National Guard, James A. Hoyer, and Lt. Gen. Harry M. Wyatt, director of the Air National Guard, over breakfast for the National Guard Caucus, about how the Guard could help the Department of Defense run more efficiently.
“It is a true honor any time I get to sit down with the leaders of West Virginia’s National Guard, but (this) was an opportunity to discuss their commitment to take a leading role in reining in our spending while at the same time making sure that we have the strongest and best military in the world,” Manchin said. “Time and again, our guard members have proven that they can excel at any task – especially tasks that are currently being done by overpriced contractors.”
Manchin is a member of both the Senate National Guard Caucus and the Senate Armed Services Committee, and strongly supported the National Guard’s recent elevation to the highest levels of the nation’s military, a voice on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Manchin said, as an example, that using National Guard maintenance shops in West Virginia is currently “saving the Defense Department $27 million this year alone.”
“If we increased the workload at our guard facilities, we would save the Defense Department almost $250 million. To me, that just makes common sense – and it’s just one small example of the savings the guard can provide,” Manchin said.
Last week, the senator attended an event at the West Virginia National Guard’s Center for National Response training area, which prepares military personnel and first responders to respond to – and prevent – attacks on American soil.
“We all need to work together to determine how best to use our guard as we move forward, and (this) breakfast helped us build new ideas and momentum for this commonsense approach to running the best military in the world,” Manchin said.