Rep. Kristi Noem released the following statement in response to the Air Force’s announcement that it plans to begin flying B-1 bomber training missions at Ellsworth Air Force Base on a limited basis starting today:

“This decision is absolutely vital and in the best interests of our country’s national security,” said Rep. Noem. “I believe we have a responsibility and a duty to ensure that our men and women are fully prepared and equipped for their military missions. These B-1 bombers, and the airmen who operate them, are the workhorses of our nation’s airpower. It is crucial that our military’s readiness is not jeopardized due to recent budget cuts, which is why I voted for and supported multiple efforts to replace the sequester with targeted and responsible spending reductions that did not disproportionately affect our nation’s armed forces. There’s no doubt difficult decisions need to be made, but the men and women of our nation’s military deserve better.”

Rep. Noem previously questioned the Air Force during a recent House Armed Services Committee hearing about the impact this decision may have on military readiness. Noem is also a cosponsor of H.R. 593, the Down Payment to Protect National Security Act of 2013, which would prevent a further round of cuts in Fiscal Year 2013 from hitting our nation’s military by requiring a reduction in the federal workforce through attrition and a pay freeze for members of Congress.

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