The UH-72A Lakota helicopter in flight. Photo: Defense News

By Paul McLeary
31 May 2013

(Defense News) – In the latest installment of the defense industry and their Congressional representatives rallying to save DoD acquisition programs that directly affect their district/state/business, EADS North America and American Eurocopter held a rally on Thursday in Columbus, Mississippi to try and “save” the UH-72A Lakota helicopter program.

In its fiscal 2014 budget submission the Army slashed 31 Lakotas from its previously announced procurement plans, deciding to buy just 10 more Lakotas, all for the National Guard.

Army officials told Congress during budget hearings earlier this spring that the active force would rely instead on the Black Hawk helicopters that are returning from theater to replace the Lakotas flying in the United States.

Enter Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, and U.S. Rep. Alan Nunnelee, who hooked up with  executives from Lakota maker EADS North America and American Eurocopter to demand that Congress to restore funding for the Army’s Lakota program in 2014.

A statement released by EADS released in tandem with the event said that the cuts “would effectively end Lakota production by the end of 2014 and endanger the jobs of many of the more than 300 Columbus employees.”

Taking the stage, Gov. Bryant said that while he understands that “cuts must be made to alleviate some of the strain on the national debt, but it is counterproductive for the Department of Defense to cancel this cost-effective, successful program.”

Sen. Wicker, who voted for the 2011 Budget Control Act that introduced the sequestration legislation which blindly slashes Pentagon budgets by up to 10 percent across the board, added that federal budget cuts “should be focused on wasteful spending and not on programs like the Lakota that are vital to national security.”

Sequestration as enacted by Congress does not allow the armed services to make trades in what programs they cut. Every budget line, regardless of importance for national security, takes a hit. [more]

Congressmen Who Voted For Sequestration Cry Foul As Effects Hit Home


  1. Anonymous said...

    75% of the bloated "defense" budget needs to be cut, we don't need it and never did.

    This is pork-barrel politics under the guise of "security and safety".

    American's military has made the world more unsafe then ever.

    American soldiers need to STAY HOME. If you want to protect Americans and America and the American way of life, or the Constitution, DO IT HERE.

    It's completely bogus that our soldiers are "fighting for freedom" or "America" on foreign soil, this is a complete lie.

    Foreign occupation and invasion is doing America and Americans no good at all (except supporting the death industry, oops, defense industry).

    We don't need another helicopter. Or another nuclear weapon. Or another tank. Or anything at all.

    What we need is to STAY HOME with our guns and our toys and our death machines (and stop exporting them, America is the world's largest death exporter).

    Naive? Hardly. Various studies have been conducted demonstrating that America does not need to intervene in other nations, and frankly, it's never been any of our business.

    Dismantling the death industry should be a top priority by all real Americans.

    Keeping our sons and daughters at home should be another top priority.

    Removing our blood-lusting politicians from office should be another top priority.

    This country would not be morally and financially bankrupt if we did these things as soon as possible.  


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