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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

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.
August 20, 2018 Weekly Columns
For decades, the United States has grappled with the often contentious and theocratic regime of Iran. Iran is not a friend to the United States. It is a nation well known for funding, training and harboring terrorists, and often, the United States has been the target of such activity. Under President Trump’s leadership, the U.S. has approached Iran’s inconsistent and unreliable commitment to denuclearization. In fact, since the implementation of the Iran Deal under President Obama, it has been evident that Iran continued to become a nuclear capable state.
 
August 6, 2018 Weekly Columns
As the United States continues its historic buildup of its defense capabilities, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has committed to increasing security investments as well. Russia seeks to change the international order by stressing our alliances, undermining national institutions, and supporting conflicts around the world. Its goal is to exert greater influence around the globe and demonstrate Russia is not only a nuclear power, but a Great Power. The NATO alliance shares a common strategic vision on how to counter this threat.
 
July 30, 2018 Weekly Columns
Despite much controversy and reporting surrounding the U.S. – Russia summit in Helsinki, Finland, America’s foreign policy with Russia under President Trump’s Administration has been stronger than the previous three administrations. But as the United States continues to fight the advances of Russian aggression, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is being strengthened by the joint actions of the U.S. and its allies. President Trump has taken a strong approach to encourage our NATO allies to increase their forces and invest further to build western end strength.
July 17, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement in response to the joint press conference between U.S. President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland.

July 2, 2018 Weekly Columns
As the leader on the global stage, the United States is re-entering an era of military preeminence. Our nation’s military needs to be restored to advance America’s competitive military advantage to rival those of nation’s like China and Russia, as stated in the recent National Defense Strategy. We now believe that the greatest threat to America is not terrorism, but the reemergence of great power rivals like China and Russia.
June 22, 2018 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Representatives Tom Cole (OK-04) and Frank Lucas (OK-03) released the following statement after the U.S. Air Force and Boeing announced their respective agreement for the first KC-46 Tanker delivery in October 2018. Altus Air Force Base, in Lucas’ district, will be one of the first military installations to receive a delivery.
 
May 30, 2018 Weekly Columns

With global threats from our near competitors and great-state adversaries, improving our military’s readiness could not come at a more critical time.  Congress is committed to funding improved maintenance, readiness, and personnel accounts while providing key oversight on near and long-term procurement programs to build a modern force.  After years of budgetary dysfunction, we must recapitalize our military and ensure it remains a superior and effective fighting force across all domains anywhere in the world.

May 24, 2018 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 5515, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. It passed in the House by a vote of 351-66 with Cole’s support.

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