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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 needed to confront the mounting security challenges and threats 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 will continue to support a strong military well-equipped to face 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 reforms for mandatory programs, which account for more than two-thirds of annual federal spending. Currently growing at an unsustainable rate, it is imperative that Congress confront the difficult budget decisions to not only save mandatory programs like Medicare and Social Security but to ensure national security programs can continue to be funded at an appropriate level.

Supporting our National Guard and Reserves

The National Guard provides a broad range of capabilities and is essential to our war fighting strategy by participating in exercises with allied forces, serving as the first line of defense for threats to the homeland and responding to disasters. As a key part of our national security architecture, the Army Reserves provide operational flexibility and strategic depth to combatant commanders. Indeed, 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 of Oklahoma, 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. I am proud that 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.

Learn more about Fort Sill at 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. In 2018, Tinker awarded more than $1 billion in contracts to small Oklahoma-based businesses and another $2.7 billion to companies in Oklahoma. Tinker is also Oklahoma’s largest single-site employer, with 17,000 civilian and 9,000 military employees and an economic impact of $4.55 billion to the state.

Tinker's largest organization is the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. The largest of three depot repair complexes in the Air Force Materiel Command, it provides depot maintenance on the C/KC-135, B-1B, B-52 and E-3 aircraft, expanded phase maintenance on the Navy E-6 aircraft and maintenance, repair and overhaul of F100, F101, F108, F110, F118, F119 and TF33 engines for the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Navy and foreign military sales. The complex is also responsible for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of Air Force bomber and tankers, as well as other services’ aircraft platforms and engines. Work at Tinker also 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.

Learn more about Tinker AFB at tinker.af.mil.

More on Defense and National Security

January 13, 2020 Weekly Columns
Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced that the U.S. military and intelligence communities were successful in taking out terrorist leader General Qasem Soleimani during an airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq. Soleimani was more than a bad actor. He was a designated terrorist for 13 years, but his terrible record encompassed decades.
January 9, 2020 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representative voted on H. Con. Res. 83, a resolution related to the War Powers Act introduced by Democrats. Cole opposed the resolution.
January 9, 2020 Speech
The political aim here is for our Democratic friends to suggest that the president either wants war with Iran or has acted hastily and precipitously and recklessly. Neither of those things are true.
January 8, 2020 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after President Donald Trump addressed the nation regarding last night’s Iranian missile strike targeting U.S. military personnel in Iraq.
January 6, 2020 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the Pentagon confirmed that Jen Stewart has been appointed to serve as Chief of Staff to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
January 3, 2020 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, released the following statement after U.S. military airstrikes in Baghdad, ordered by President Donald Trump, killed General Qasem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force.
December 16, 2019 Weekly Columns

For nearly 60 years, lawmakers in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle have affirmed their bipartisan commitment to providing for our common defense. Through passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the House last week and swift consideration expected in the Senate, I am proud that lawmakers are once again coming together to authorize funding for the programs and resources needed to keep our nation safe while advocating for and supporting the individuals who make every mission possible.

December 11, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Conference Report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.
December 3, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) today announced the names of 20 students who have been nominated from the Fourth District of Oklahoma for entry into one of America’s prestigious military academies.
November 21, 2019 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, issued the following statement after learning of today’s training accident at Vance Air Force Base in Enid.

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