There are two issues here – apples and oranges. Is NTC good training? Should units deploy there before combat? Does attendance save lives? Undoubtedly so!
Is BG Martin the best person ever to train our sons and daughters there? Hell yeah.
But – does he control the flow? Hell no. That’s up to leaders like CoS Ray Odierno, that choose to put their money in other places and to mislead the congress about the effect of multiple deployments on combat troops. Then, he goes to a highly politically charged venue and whines about choices he’s made:
“If I’m asked to deploy 20,000 troops somewhere, I’m not sure I can guarantee that they’ll be trained to the level that I think they should be over the next two or three years, because of the way sequestration has been enacted,” Odierno told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington. The soldiers would still be sent into harm’s way, he noted, but not trained collectively to the Army’s highest standards. “Which means operations will take longer,” he said. “And most importantly, it probably means more casualties.”
Although Martin is quoted extensively in this article, the efficacy of NTC really plays no part here. This is about leaders like McHugh and Odierno choosing to put their money into useless equipment, contractor billets, and Pentagon officer slots instead of into the combat forces, protection, and training that will ensure our daughters and sons get home in the right way.