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Congressman Tom O´Halleran

Representing the 1st District of Arizona

O'Halleran Urges President to Halt Transfer of Apache Helicopters from Marana

February 14, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Tom O'Halleran (AZ-01) sent a letter, signed by every member of the Arizona House delegation, urging President Donald Trump to delay the Department of Defense's decision to transfer and shut down the remaining AH-64 Apache helicopter units in Arizona.

"Like you, we answer to the men and women in uniform who serve our nation. As Commander-in-Chief, you have the authority to delay this decision pending additional review of Congressional concerns," the Arizona lawmakers wrote. "Accordingly, we urge you to issue an immediate suspension of the transfer orders and unit deactivations and direct DOD leadership to work with Congress on a sustainable, long-term solution to the continuing challenges we face regarding warfighter readiness."

"Not only will this decision have a detrimental impact on our military's readiness, it will have consequences for the economic vitality of the region and Arizona," said O'Halleran. "It is my hope that President Trump and our military leaders will put this effort on pause while we seek answers for our constituents who will be impacted by these orders. I thank my colleagues for joining me in requesting a halt in this decision."

Rep. O’Halleran, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, represents Arizona's First Congressional District, which is home to the Silverbell Army Heliport, the Western Army Aviation Training Site, and the 1st/285th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion. The units operate out of Pinal Airpark in Marana.

Read the full letter here or below.

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Dear President Trump:

As Members of Congress who share the commitment and responsibility to ensuring the nation’s safety and security, we write with urgent concern regarding a decision by the Department of Defense to divest attack aviation battalions in the Army National Guard in Pennsylvania and Arizona.

Last week, Arizona received orders to transfer and shut down their remaining AH-64 units. These orders were approved and relayed as Members from our delegation, including those who serve on the House Armed Services Committee, await responses to requests for information from DOD to clarify critical points of contention on a number of issues that the Army has identified as continued justification for divestiture.

Bipartisan opposition to these measures, spanning three Congresses and two Administrations, continues to hold that the divestiture of trained and deployable ARBs has irreversible risks and implications for years to come. Degrading attack aviation capability and diminishing force readiness and strategic depth undermines “fight tonight” requirements.  Based on responses we have received and relevant testimony thus far, we do not have confidence that this decision supports the National Defense Strategy nor Total Army readiness. We continue to assert that the pressures, risks, and threats that led to the original ARI are vastly different than those we face today.

Like you, we answer to the men and women in uniform who serve our nation. As Commander-in-Chief, you have the authority to delay this decision pending additional review of Congressional concerns. Accordingly, we urge you to issue an immediate suspension of the transfer orders and unit deactivations and direct DOD leadership to work with Congress on a sustainable, long-term solution to the continuing challenges we face regarding warfighter readiness.

We strongly urge you to so direct DOD in advance of the impending transfers and deactivations. We eagerly await your response.