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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

July 12, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives voted on H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020.
June 21, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), Representative Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), and Representative Tom Cole (OK-04) made the following statements after Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer announced the newest Towing, Salvage and Rescue ship (T-ATS) would be named Cherokee Nation.
May 31, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) this week congratulated eight Fourth District students who received and accepted appointments to one of the United States military service academies.
May 13, 2019 Weekly Columns

During Military Appreciation Month, we rightly join in expressing gratitude for our service members, their families and the daily sacrifices they make on our behalf. It is because of their selfless service that Americans wake up every day with the privilege of peace and freedom at home.

March 13, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) announced an upcoming event for Fourth District high school students, who are interested in pursuing an appointment to one of the nation’s fine military service academies. Parents, counselors and school officials are encouraged and welcome to attend along with students.
January 11, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) today announced the names of 18 students who have been nominated from the Fourth District of Oklahoma for entry into one of America’s prestigious military academies.
January 8, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Congressman Tom Cole (R, OK-04) recognized the 150th anniversary of Fort Sill.
December 20, 2018 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announced he will resign his post at the end of February 2019.
September 11, 2018 Press Release

“Seventeen years ago I was in Washington D.C. the day of the 9/11 attack on America. While I was not a member of Congress, I was sitting in the offices of the US Chamber of Commerce looking directly at the White House across Lafayette Square. Gathered with my colleagues and others we turned on our television just in time to see the second plane crash into the twin towers. Minutes later we saw people pour out of the White House, fleeing out of fear that the home of America’s first family would be the next target.

August 27, 2018 Weekly Columns
The August Congressional recess is a great time for Congress to do important work back in the district and abroad. During the first week of August, I had the opportunity to travel with five of my colleagues to frontline states and important NATO allies in Europe. Our first stop was the United Kingdom – shortly after it had been confirmed that a British citizen was killed by left over poison from the attempted murder of a Russian defector on British soil. This confirmation served as a reminder that the Russians are unreliable, dangerous and reckless.

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