The previous administration, along with Congress, cut military funding by 22 percent over the last eight years while we were still at war and conducting operations in multiple locations. Our servicemen and women carried the burden of doing much more with much less.
When I joined the military in the 1980s, we flew double the number of flying training hours over our nearest competitors and had nearly twice the number of active-duty airmen. We had better tanks in the Army, better ships in the Navy, better planes in the Air Force, better technology in each Service, and were better in about every military capability. I have seen this American advantage slowly evaporate in every respect.
I was charged with preparing our forces to prevail over any adversary while commanding five different organizations, ranging from the squadron-level to base commands. Because of the massive budget reductions while in war, we are today trailing our peer adversaries in training, and our modernization programs and readiness stats are in the toilet. It is unconscionable to send our warriors to fight without every possible advantage.
If I could spend another 30 years in uniform I would, but in that absence, I will fight in Congress until we get our military back on its feet again. We need to repair, we need to restore, and we need to rebuild our military.