Military & Veterans News
Braley Lauds Reopening of Iowa National Guard Aviation Readiness Center PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Kira Ayish   
Friday, 24 February 2012 14:55

Braley helped secure $2 million to fund renovation project in 2009


Davenport, IA – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today attended the reopening of the Iowa National Guard’s Aviation Readiness Center, lauding the renovation of the facility and saying it will enhance the ability of the Guard to save lives and protect Iowa.  In 2009, Braley helped secure $2 million to fund the renovation project.


“The renovation of the Iowa National Guard’s Aviation Readiness Center helped create jobs here in the Quad Cities and has given the facility new life,” Braley said.  “I’m proud of my work helping to make this needed renovation happen.  This beautiful facility is a great addition to the Davenport area and will help the Iowa National Guard do its job.”


The $2.1 million project completed today is the second part of a two-phase project that renovated the entire National Guard facility, originally constructed in 1972.  The first phase of the renovation was completed in 2010.


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Sparta Army National Guard Fire Fighting Team Deploys PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Illinois National Guard PAO   
Monday, 20 February 2012 14:30

SPARTA, IL (02/15/2012)(readMedia)-- Deployment ceremony


• 662nd Engineer Fire Fighting Team in Sparta


• A deployment ceremony is scheduled for approximately 10 Soldiers who are scheduled to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom this winter.


• Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Sparta armory fire station, 1803 N. Hillcrest Drive in Sparta.


• The 662nd will provide fire department emergency response services for deployed forces in the Operation Enduring Freedom theater of operations. Potential missions include, but are not limited to: fire prevention and protection, structural and aircraft fire fighting, vehicle rescue, emergency medical and hazardous materials incident response.

• Additionally, the team will be involved in the Rescue Air Mobile Squad (RAMS) mission, providing personnel rescue capabilities in tactical situations. During a RAMS mission, the team is transported via helicopter to a remote emergency incident and will perform rapid technical rescue and medical stabilization measures for U.S. and coalition personnel who are entrapped and/or otherwise injured as a result of enemy action.

For more information, contact the Public Affairs office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 217-761-3569.

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Braley Urges Pentagon to Remove Remaining Barriers to Women's Military Service PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 17 February 2012 15:34

Braley Urges Pentagon to Remove Remaining Barriers to Women’s Military Service

Military announced review to relax policies last week, but women still face restrictions


Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today urged Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to remove all remaining barriers restricting the service of female members of the US Armed Forces.


Last week, the Department of Defense announced that it was revising its Combat Exclusion Policy to allow women to serve in expanded roles in the military.  Braley applauded the move.  However, even with the revisions, women will still be prohibited from serving in combat roles.


“The Pentagon’s experience in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade should forever remove any doubt of the ability of women to serve in military combat roles,” Braley said.  “Veterans like Tammy Duckworth, who piloted a combat helicopter over Iraq and earned the Purple Heart and Air Medal for her service, to Leigh Ann Hester, who earned the Silver Star for her valor when her convoy was attacked by Iraqi insurgents, to Iowa’s own Alex Jansen, who was awarded the Bronze Star for her service in Iraq, have demonstrated the capabilities of women on the battlefield.  It’s time to remove these barriers once and for all and fully acknowledge that women have a place in the military, serving right alongside men.”


The Pentagon’s Combat Exclusion Policy has also had the effect of preventing women from climbing the ranks of military leadership.   In over 200 years of American military history, only two women have been nominated to 4-star command positions.


Braley made the request in a letter to Secretary Panetta, the text of which follows.  A copy of the letter can be downloaded at the following link:




The Honorable Leon Panetta

Secretary of Defense

1000 Defense Pentagon

Washington, D.C. 20301


Dear Secretary Panetta,


I am writing today to commend the Department of Defense for their recent review of the Combat Exclusion Policy restricting the service of female members of the U.S. Armed Forces. While the decision to loosen the restrictions on women serving in combat is a good step forward, the review can and should go further to remove all of the barriers in place.


The last decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan has proven that women are more than capable of serving in the combat arms.  Since 2001, despite standing prohibitions on women in combat, a number of American women have distinguished themselves in combat earning numerous military awards.  Female combat pilots, allowed to serve in those roles since the mid-90s, have proven themselves flying sorties in support of operations around the world.  Most recently, Female Engagement Teams in Afghanistan have been a vital part of our counterinsurgency effort to better connect with the female civilian population.


The Department’s review can and should go further to promote equality by permitting those women who are willing and able to serve in combat roles.  The last decade should remove any question on the ability of women to serve and arguments against their service are nothing more than bureaucratic blustering at its worst. Despite claims to the contrary, one needs only look at the list of promotions by the military services to recognize that advancement to the highest echelons of command is tied to experience in the combat arms.  In the over 200 years of our nation’s history, only two women have been nominated to 4-star command positions. To truly ensure equality in our armed forces, women must be allowed to fight.


I appreciate your attention to this matter, and look forward to your continued work to reform the Department of Defense to ensure that we have the best fighting force that we possibly can, and that we are not turning away qualified and capable warriors for any reason.




Bruce Braley

Member of Congress


Cc: Dr. Jo Ann Rooney, Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness


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Iowa Air National Guard in Des Moines PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Grassley Press   
Friday, 10 February 2012 08:40
Thursday, February 9, 2012

Senator Chuck Grassley made the following comment after a meeting he hosted today for members of the Iowa congressional delegation with the Secretary of the Air Force regarding Air Force budget reduction recommendations to retire the 21 F-16 fighter aircraft assigned to the 124th Fighter Squadron, Iowa Air National Guard in Des Moines.  The meeting was held in the U.S. Capitol.

“A lot of mixed signals were sent by the Air Force in today’s meeting.  The Iowa congressional delegation is on the same wavelength and committed in a bipartisan, bicameral way to getting the data that the Air Force said it used to make a decision that the Air Force claimed was based on a cost-benefit analysis.  We want this data in order to reconcile an additional comment made by Air Force officials in today’s meeting that judgment, beyond the data, was also involved in its decision.  This judgment comment detracts from the Air Force statement that everything was measured for cost and benefit.  Overall, it’s a question of safeguarding national security dollars because the Guard has shown to be more cost effective for missions such as a fighter squadron than the Active Duty, and Guard pilots tend to be more experienced since they stay in the service over a long period of time.  The discouraging part is that my feeling was that the Air Force has made its decision, but it will be up to Congress to decide whether to approve the Air Force plan and National Guard advocates in Congress are already signaling that they won’t go along quietly with the Air Force’s plan to take so many cuts out of the Air Guard.



Braley Statement after Delegation Meeting with Air Force Secretary Michael Donley PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Military & Veterans News
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 15:22

Iowa Delegation met with Donley to press case for Iowa Air National Guard F-16 Wing

Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) released the following statement after he joined Iowa’s Congressional delegation for a meeting to urge Air Force Secretary Michael Donley to abandon plans to remove all F-16 fighter aircraft operated by the Iowa Air National Guard from their base in Des Moines:

“It’s clear from today’s meeting that the Air Force must provide more answers and better justification for their decision.  The Iowa Delegation made clear our objections to the removal of F-16s from the 132nd Fighter Wing, one of the most cost-efficient units in the Air Force.”


“If the goal is to reduce costs, downsizing the Iowa Air National Guard while less efficient units and less experienced pilots are preserved just doesn’t make any sense.  We urged Secretary Donley to carefully reconsider whether this recommendation is in the best interest of national security  and American taxpayers.


“I am hopeful that today’s meeting will result in the Air Force reversing their position.  In the meantime, I’ll keep working with the Iowa delegation to press our case with the Air Force and the Pentagon.”


Braley met yesterday with Iowa National Guard Adjutant General Timothy Orr and senior leaders of the Iowa Air National Guard to discuss the Air Force proposal.  Braley also sent a letter yesterday to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressing his concerns with the removal of F-16s from Des Moines.


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