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Trump Administration Raids $3.8 Billion in Military Funds to Build Border Wall

February 13, 2020
Press Release

Youngstown, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan responds to the Trump Administration’s announced reallocation of $3.8 billion in critical defense funds to build a border wall. Many communities and military bases, in both Republican and Democratic-led states, will be harmed by this outrageous use of executive power. President Trump is revoking the following critical military funds to build his border wall:

  • -$1.501 billion from National Guard and Reserve equipment, including the entirety of FY20 National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account funding (trucks, generators, spare parts, radios, other gear);
  • -$379 million from F-35 (2 x F-35C aircraft and some advanced procurement);
  • -$155 million from V-22 (2 x aircraft);
  • -$180 million from P-8 (1 x aircraft);
  • -$911 million from shipbuilding (LHA and Expeditionary Fast Transport);
  • -$365 million from C-130J ($196 million from Air Force Reserve and $169 from Overseas Contingency Operations;
  • -$180 million from Air Force Light Attack aircraft program;
  • -$160 million from MQ-9 (8 x aircrafts)

“No branch of the military or region of the country was spared from President Trump’s raid on our military investments. I agree with my Republican colleague, Congressman Mac Thornberry when he said that President Trump’s actions are illegal and is in ‘violation of the separation of powers within the Constitution.’ President Trump is making our nation less safe and putting our soldiers in danger in order to build a border wall that you can literally dig underneath or climb over top. We were promised that Mexico would pay for this wall, now it’s the American taxpayer and our men and women in uniform that will bear the brunt of this irresponsible decision,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Included in the collateral damage of this decision are the New C-130Js for the Air Force Reserve. He is taking hundreds of millions from the funding of these new planes. I will work with my Republican colleges and use my position on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee to ensure this important program get funded. YARS is a perfect place to land the new C-130J aircrafts, and I will continue to make that case to the United States Air Force.”

This week Ryan co-led a bipartisan Ohio Congressional Delegation effort to secure these new aircraft for YARS. Ryan was joined by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Mike Turner (R-OH), David Joyce (R-OH), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Troy Balderson (R-OH), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Robert Latta (R-OH), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), and Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH). Read the full letter here

Funding for these aircraft was authorized and appropriated in the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020. The new C-130Js were expected to be delivered in 2023. The J-model C-130 features upgraded technology not found on older model C-130s, including improved turboprop engines, propellers and digital avionics. The J-model has greater range, a higher maximum speed and shorter takeoff and landing distances than previous C-130 models.

Particular qualities that increase YARS’ suitability as a location for these aircraft are that it has unique access to uncongested airspace; YARS has ramp space for a total of 16 C-130 aircraft, so there is no need for additional MILCON to accommodate the additional C-130s; and YARS is located adjacent to a regional airport with Night Vision Goggle (NVG) training lighting and maintains control of a training range at nearby Camp James A. Garfield, suitable for both aerial spray as well as tactical airlift training — allowing the wing to conduct critical training nearly at will and maintain aircrew qualifications.

The Air Force Reserve Command conducted a site visit to YARS in January and was set to provide its results to the Air Force for review, validation, and endorsement to inform where the jets are ultimately placed.

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