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Michigan National Guard leader warns against cuts

Selfridge Air Base
U.S. Air National Guard

The general who runs Michigan’s Army and Air National Guard is warning about what he calls ill-advised cuts.

The Air Force wants to retire 286 aircraft over the next five years to accommodate a new national defense strategy and shrinking budget.

Major General Gregory Vadnais told reservists at the Battle Creek and Selfridge Air National Guard bases Friday that those bases would lose 673 positions because of proposed Air Force budget cuts.

Vadnais insists that by cutting reserve forces, the Air Force is going about this the wrong way.

He says the past decade has proved reservists can fight as effectively as active duty soldiers—at much less cost.

“I just can’t make practical sense--where’s the business case to execute this plan?” Vadnais said. “You show me where they can provide the same capability than we can at a lower cost, and I’ll salute, shut up, and go down the road.”

Vadnais encouraged reservists to pressure Michigan’s Congressional delegations to oppose the cuts.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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