CHAMBERSBURG, PA – Letterkenny Army Depot is one of the largest employers in the state of Pennsylvania, provides essential equipment for our military, and is a driving force in the region’s economy.
Why is this important to highlight right now? Well, Art Halvorson had a townhall meeting in Chambersburg on Thursday and when BRAC and Letterkenny came up, Art Halvorson was pressed on what it is Letterkenny does. Below is full transcript of the exchange where he admits he actually doesn’t know the work done at the depot.
“I don’t have the full suite, I’ve never worked there, and I’m not familiar with the actual things that they do”-Art Halvorson on Letterkenny 10.20.16
Art Halvorson 10.20.16 Chambersburg Townhall
Art Halvorson: “I’m saying the best thing for Letterkenny in the context of BRAC is for them to be the most productive unit they possibly can be, they’re going to make a business decision on whether they should stay open or not. If they’re not productive, one could say that they wouldn’t deserve to remain open, if there’s a cheaper way for the Army to produce what they produce you would not want as a taxpayer the money going to the less productive asset. So that’s what I’m talking about.”
Voter: “Well what are they producing? Production how? What are they producing”
Art Halvorson: “A number of things, repairs on Army vehicles, I don’t have the full suite, I’ve never worked there and I’m not familiar with the actual things that they do but they work on Army material, they repair vehicles, they build vehicles perhaps and some components of vehicles for worldwide distribution where the Army is stationed.”
“If Art Halvorson was wondering, Letterkenny is the Army’s go-to missile Depot,” said Casey Contres, Shuster campaign manager. “It’s responsible for remanufacturing and recertification of the Patriot Missile Defense System as well as tactical wheeled vehicles, missile ground support systems, and an array of Army equipment ranging from route clearance vehicles to power generation equipment.
“It is appalling that Halvorson has spent the last three years attacking Shuster for his support for Letterkenny but has no clue what the men and women of the Depot do. This shows a major difference between the two on defense issues. Shuster serves on the Armed Services Committee and has authored language to protect Letterkenny from cuts, while Halvorson attacks Shuster for his work with Letterkenny even though he doesn’t know what they do there.
Congressman Shuster is fighting for Letterkenny because despite Art Halvorson’s comments that Shuster’s work is fear mongering, it’s actually necessary because the Secretary of Defense and others in the administration continue to express support for a BRAC. As long as that is happening Congressman Shuster will be working closely with Team Letterkenny and local community leaders to ensure it doesn’t happen here.”
Past Statements by Halvorson on Shuster and Letterkenny
“I think Shuster is fear-mongering as he did the last time,” Halvorson said. “He’s talking as though he is the savior of Letterkenny. He is not.” Public Opinion 4.7.16
“…then used the rest of his answering time to accuse Shuster of fear-mongering about the U.S. Department of Defense’s Base Realignment and Closure process. He predicted the earliest BRAC would occur would be in 2017.-Herald Mail 5.4.14
“It was fear-mongering because he was trying to make it sound like it’s an issue this year and it’s not,” Halvorson told POLITICO when discussing BRAC and Shuster’s work involving Letterkenny-Politico 6.23.14
Shuster’s Recent Work on Letterkenny
-Shuster successfully coauthored language in the upcoming defense spending bill that prohibits a BRAC from taking place.
Why we Need to Fight Against a BRAC
Ash Carter, Secretary of Defense
“I’m in an ongoing argument, essentially, with Congress” over the need for another BRAC round, Carter said. “We’re going to keep trying. I think at some point we’ll get there” and have authorization to shut down bases. 6/4/2015
Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force
“We need a BRAC but it’s controversial. We have 30% excess infrastructure capacity.” 3/20/2015
Jonathan Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations Adm.
“The Department of Defense is asking for a BRAC I support that. It’s not a bad process.” 3/25/2014
Jack Reed, Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee
“While BRAC has been controversial in the past, I do believe that we need to consider efforts to allow the Defense Department to shed the excess infrastructure it does not need and invest funding instead in higher priorities.” 3/3/2015