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Mar 26.14

Divestiture of the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team

Divestiture of the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team

The United States Department of Defense, in response to the halfhearted budget compromise reached by the president and Congress, has issued plans to deactivate the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team based in Houston with an armory location in House District 24 in La Marque. 

A part of the 36th Infantry Division, the 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) has responded to over 150 disasters in and around Texas since its inception in 1917, including activation during Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Rita.  The Team has also been activated by presidents Clinton and Bush for service in Kosovo and the Iraq theatre of war.  If this closure is to proceed as planned, the Headquarters' roughly 175 personnel in Houston and over 2,000 soldiers under the Headquarters' auspices are left vulnerable to divestiture, relocation to remaining posts in Texas, or reassignment to operations in other states.  The Pentagon's proposal is also expected to result in the removal of 32 Apache Longbow and light duty helicopters stationed near the Houston operation, while leaving the fate of almost 200 pilots, mechanics, and arms specialists attached to those assets unclear.

The Department's proposed closures would leave Texas's remaining Guard battalions without a central command within the state, depriving organizers of a dependable means of responding to natural disasters and public emergencies.  As Texans deployed emergency response assets to help our neighbors in Oklahoma after the devastating tornados of 2013 and issued emergency declarations to expedite the shipment of valuable energy resources to the Northeastern United States during this winter's crippling ice storms, we angrily watched the federal government resist our own state's requests for assistance during the droughts and wildfires of 2011 and the more recent storms which strained our state and local emergency resources.  In many instances, the president has faltered during a crisis while the Commander in Chief of Texas's military forces activated a response.  The Pentagon's plan to deactivate the 72nd IBCT dilutes our Governor's ability to respond to emergencies in Texas and the surrounding states, once again demonstrating the frustrating shortsightedness which has become the expected norm out of Washington.

I am gravely concerned about the future of our military preparedness as a state and as a nation. We cannot maintain our current status as a world leader without the proper defenses established to protect ourselves from our enemies, foreign or domestic.

TCCRI Health Care Summit

Please join me and State Senator Larry Taylor for the TCCRI Health Care Summit on Tuesday, April 22nd, 9 am to 11 am at the Clear Lake Regional Medical Center’s Heart & Vascular Hospital in the Searcy Auditorium.

Some of the questions we’ll be discussing are:

In light of the troubled implementation of the Affordable Care Act, what are the next steps for Texas?

What is the future of Medicaid?

How can the state better utilize technology to lower costs, and improve access to care?

Given the increasing federal control over health care, what are other state opportunities for reform?

Visit: http://www.txccri.org/new-to-tccri/healthcaresummitwebster422 for more information and to RSVP

 

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