Conflicting reports from Gov. LePage on future of Maine National Guard
AUGUSTA (WGME) -- There is concern and confusion about the future of a key National Guard unit in Maine.
Members of Maine's Congressional Delegation are trying to learn more about plans to possibly relocate the 133rd engineer battalion out of Maine.
Governor LePage says it's not going to happen.
None of the officials at the Maine National Guard will discuss the future of the 133rd battalion. They referred all of our questions to Governor Paul LePage.
Governor LePage says the 133rd engineer battalion isn't going anywhere. He says the reports that the 133rd could be relocated to Pennsylvania are coming straight from his democratic gubernatorial opponent, U.S. Congressman Mike Michaud
The governor blames another democrat as well, U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree.
They're trying to make political issue and there is no political issue, said LePage.
The governor says, as the Commander in Chief of Maine's National Guard, he's heard nothing about moving the 133rd out of the state.
But a spokesman for Congresswoman Pingree says it could happen.
Officials from the Maine National Guard said they do have a proposal to send the Maine 133rd to Pennsylvania and replace it will an infantry battalion, said Pingree.
In a written statement, Congressman Mike Michaud says, "It's irresponsible for Governor Lepage to play politics with our guard members - particularly at a time when so many of them are deployed abroad. I first learned of these proposed changes several days ago - from leadership of the Maine National Guard who report directly to Governor LePage."
Congressman Michaud, who is running for governor against LePage, says he's working to learn more about the proposal.
Governor LePage says he's not worried about it.
Everyone we talked to, including the governor, says there's been a National Guard restructuring plan in the works since 2008.
Any final decision needs pentagon approval and any changes won't happen before 2017.