Fort Bragg Soldiers and leadership had a chance to explain the challenges of military life under continuing resolution to North Carolina Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, Tuesday. These CRs provide funding at the same level as the previous year and prevent flexibility in spending funds.
If Congress does not pass a budget by April 28, the military will have to operate under a CR for another year, something Army officials have argued against. Tillis and Burr expressed their appreciation for Fort Bragg leaders in maintaining readiness under these circumstances.
“America’s a lot safer because of what’s done on this installation,” said Burr. “With all the challenges that we’re faced with, the leadership here has been able to maintain a readiness level for whatever they’re called to do and they’ve proven that time and time again.”
During their time at Fort Bragg, the senators visited with leaders from U.S. Army Forces Command and the XVIII Airborne Corps; toured Simmons Army Airfield and talked with leaders from the 82nd Airborne Division; and ate lunch with Soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Abn. Div.
Burr said eating and talking to Soldiers was his favorite part of the visit.
“The kids go out and they don’t complain, they don’t ask why,” said Burr. “They train, they learn and they’re ready to go at a moment’s notice.”
Tillis agreed and said the visit highlighted the importance of passing appropriations funding for the Department of Defense.
“I think it just really underscores the need in my own mind, and I was there already, that we need to get back to regular-order appropriations,” he said. “We need to provide more flexibility for the leadership to make decisions about how they deploy some of the money to the most pressing needs and we’ve got to get back to regular order.”
To do this, Tillis said he plans to stand behind his colleagues that are pushing for this return to order, such as Sen. John McCain (Arizona).
These CRs require the military to live paycheck-to-paycheck, something no corporation can do and operate at the highest efficiency, according to Tillis.
“It’s wasting taxpayer dollars,” he explained. “It’s sub-optimizing what our lines of service can do to make our men and women the upmost ready and the upmost prepared.”
Burr and Tillis said they want the Fort Bragg community to know the senators are fighting for them while the service members are protecting the country.
“As policymakers, we’re still committed to make sure that our military is the best equipped in the world and that they’ve got the training that’s needed to carry out whatever the mission is,” he said.