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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Defense and National Security

Congress has no greater responsibility than to provide our military with the training and resources it needs to meet the growing security challenges around the world. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I am a champion for a strong national defense and returning fiscal discipline to the Pentagon. I support a strong military and believe one of my greatest responsibilities is to support a force postured to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

A long-term debt reduction plan remains the most divisive and elusive issue before Congress. In the face of unprecedented budgetary and fiscal challenges, I firmly believe that a broader discussion and debate must take place that includes Medicare and Social Security in the conversation. It is imperative that Congress confront the difficult budget decisions now, so that national security programs can continue to be funded at a level that ensures our armed forces are trained and equipped to meet any number of growing national security threats facing the United States.

Supporting our National Guard and Reserves

The National Guard provides a broad range of capabilities and is essential to our war fighting strategy. The Guard participates in exercises with allied forces, serves as the first line of defense for threats to the homeland and responds to disasters. The Reserves provide operational flexibility and strategic depth to combatant commanders as a key part of our national security architecture. As world events require, the Guard and Reserve will have a long and enduring role. I support fairness in pay and benefits for all Guard and Reserve members, their families and retirees as they continue to play an essential role as part of the Total Force.  

Strengthening Fort Sill

Located right in the Fourth District, Fort Sill is the largest field artillery complex in the world. Home to the primary training facility for field artillery Soldiers and Marines, worldwide, the Field Artillery School trains approximately 9,000 students a year in basic combat, one-station unit training and advanced individual training. The Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Branch returned to Fort Sill from Fort Bliss more than 10 years ago and is an integral part of the Fort Sill community. Designated as the Fires Center of Excellence for the Army, soldiers and leaders are trained and educated in Fires readiness and joint operations. I will continue to support efforts to ensure the Fires community has the equipment, tools and infrastructure necessary to develop the right mix of capabilities for the future. During my tenure in Congress, Fort Sill has become the home of air defense artillery. This new mission has brought 2,500 new soldiers to Fort Sill and led to more than a billion dollars in new funding. 

To find more information about Fort Sill please visit sill-www.army.mil.

Strengthening Tinker Air Force Base

Tinker Air Force Base is the home to six major Department of Defense, Air Force and Navy activities with critical national defense missions. With more than 26,000 military and civilian employees, Tinker is the largest single-site employer in Oklahoma and has a $3.6 billion economic impact on the state's economy each year.   

The complex is responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of a myriad of Air Force and Navy airborne accessory components. In addition, work at Tinker includes the development, sustainment and testing of operational flight programs, test program sets, test equipment and industrial automation software. 

Recent improvements in manufacturing and quality control have made Tinker a nationwide leader in innovation. Resulting cost savings and increased capacity will allow Tinker to do even more work for the Air Force and other customers. Tinker has been a preeminent lead in its use of LEAN and Six Sigma Process Reform, which has greatly increased the utilization of depot capabilities. Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked with Tinker to ensure it has the resources needed to continually reform and rethink its depot maintenance process and adapt to the changing demands of an aging fleet. To find more information about Tinker AFB, visit tinker.af.mil.

More on Defense and National Security

October 13, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after President Trump announced a new strategy on Iran and its nuclear capability.
 
“I agree with President Trump that Iran is not in compliance with the Obama Administration's Nuclear Deal with Iran and therefore cannot certify that Iran is abiding by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” said Cole.

October 5, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed H. Con. Res. 71, the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Resolution. It passed by a vote of 219-206 with Cole’s support.
 
September 25, 2017 Weekly Columns
In his first appearance to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, President Trump delivered one of his most consequential and effective speeches since he assumed the presidency. The world had been exposed to the firm rhetoric that President Trump has used in the past, and it is partly the reason why he was elected President of the United States. He is not afraid to speak his mind and has always been dedicated to his message to put America first. At the UN, President Trump once again rededicated himself to that message and reaffirmed America’s leadership on the global stage.
August 28, 2017 Weekly Columns
For sixteen years, the United States has been engaged in military conflict in Afghanistan and has maintained a presence there to prevent terrorists from taking over the country and recreating the conditions that led to 9/11. Throughout our time there, our men and women in uniform have diligently eliminated terrorist threats, protected local civilians and supported rebuilding the Afghan defense forces. But as terrorism across the globe changes and grows, we still are facing the challenges of preventing another attack from occurring on our soil.
August 22, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement on President Trump’s speech regarding the strategy in Afghanistan.
 
"Last night’s speech by President Trump on Afghanistan was thoughtful, forceful, measured and convincing," said Cole. "The President made it clear that the United States will not allow terrorist groups to prevail in Afghanistan, giving them the ability to plan and launch another 9/11 style attack on the United States."
 
August 14, 2017 Weekly Columns
For decades, the United States has grappled with the unpredictable and dangerous regime of the Kim family, from Kim Jong-il to Kim Jong-un. The world has witnessed human rights violations, economic hardships and the volatility of the Kim government. Moreover, for years, the United States and its allies have attempted to keep the North Korean government from procuring a nuclear weapon and the means with which to deliver it.
August 7, 2017 Weekly Columns
In recent years, the geopolitical landscape has dramatically shifted, with past threats reemerging. After nearly a decade shying away from the world stage, hostile regimes feel emboldened and are threatening our safety and way of life. As congressional investigations continue to look into the actions of bad actors around the world, Congress must take action to protect the safety and security of the American people.
 
July 27, 2017 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, 2018. The bill is a consolidated spending package that combines funding for the Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water and the Legislative Branch Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018. It passed in the House by a vote of 235-192.
 
July 17, 2017 Weekly Columns
For fifty-six years, Congress has consecutively passed a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This legislation authorizes funding and operations for the Department of Defense and military personnel. It is one of Congress’ most basic and fundamental responsibilities.
 
July 14, 2017 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after he voted for H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018. This legislation authorizes funding and operations for the Department of Defense and military personnel, and was passed in the House by a vote of 344-81.
 

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