Sen. Orrin Hatch told Utah reservists Saturday night that the military depends more than ever on reserve units.
Hatch, R-Utah, recently named ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee that oversees the Middle East, said, "We (the Utah Army Reserves) proved that a well-prepared reserve can do the job."Hatch said 95 percent of people called to duty responded, and the job couldn't have been accomplished without the support from home.
In his speech to approximately 500 Army reservists at the Olympus Hotel, Hatch also discussed plans for new technology for Utah's military, the importance of Utah's reserves to the total military picture and the future of Saddam Hussein.
"These will be exciting times for everyone in the reserves," Hatch said about plans for Utah's military. Included are better radars and censors, a new lightweight helicopter and a jet-powered support aircraft within the next five years.
As for Saddam Hussein, Hatch joked, "The only way to get to his door are the missionaries of the LDS Church."
Hatch was enthusiastic about results of the Persian Gulf war. He feels, however, that if the United States would have stayed in the gulf for four more days Saddam's Republican Guard wouldn't have been able to do what it did to the Kurds. He said President Bush "acted in a smart way," even though he wasn't fully supported by Congress.
"I will go to my dying day wondering what would have happened if 99 senators would have voted unanimously to go to the Persian Gulf," he said. He explained that Hussein was, "counting on the U.S. buckling."
"I thank God for your willingness to help other countries," he told Utah reservists. Out of 20 96th U.S. Army Reserve commands sent to the Middle East, only six have returned.
As for the future of the U.S. military Hatch states, "I surely believe we can preserve peace by being strong." Hatch attributes this strength to the military reserves and the Strategic Defense Initiative.