Not Good Enough

: Members of Congress seem to agree that the Defense Department’s offer to retain more Air National Guard personnel and assets than originally planned in Fiscal 2013 is a positive step forward, though the indications are that they want even more relief for the Air Guard. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sent a letter to the leading congressional defense overseers on April 23 offering to retain 24 C-130s originally targeted to leave the Air Guard starting next fiscal year. “The 24 additional C-130s that Secretary Panetta is recommending for the Air National Guard represent progress toward restoring some proportionality to the Air Force’s proposed budget,” stated Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, in a release dated April 24. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Senate National Guard Caucus co-chair, called Panetta’s proposal a “constructive step forward in our ongoing negotiations.” However, the Air Force still “has failed” to meet the Council of Governors “in the middle” on the proposed Air Guard personnel cuts, he said in his separate release on April 24. Until that happens, he added, a deal is not likely. Continue