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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

July 24, 2013 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, on Wednesday. The legislation provides funding for critical security programs, supports our dedicated troops and continues current military operations.

June 26, 2013 Press Release
Washington, D.C. - Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27) introduced the Open Fuel Standard Act (H.R. 2493) which would require 30 percent of new automobiles in 2016, 50 percent in 2017, and 50 percent in each subsequent year, to operate on nonpetroleum fuels in addition to or instead of petroleum based fuels. The bill also features original co-sponsors Reps. Steve Israel (D-NY-03), Allyson Schwartz (D-PA-13), Tom Cole (R-OK-04), Collin Peterson (D-MN-07) and Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam).
May 16, 2013 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) expressed concern with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and its plan to institute mandatory furloughs for civilian workers. These furloughs will amount to 11 days of unpaid leave starting July 8 until the end of the fiscal year. Nearly 800,000 workers will be affected in order for DOD to meet the required budget cuts set by sequestration. However, navy shipyards will be exempt from these mandatory furlough days.

May 14, 2013 News Stories

The Oklahoman - Chris Casteel

Rep. Tom Cole called Monday for a special committee to investigate the terrorist attack that killed four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador, in Libya last year.

Cole, R-Moore, said he had signed on to legislation that would create a select committee to review the killings in Benghazi, which are the subject of an ongoing investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

May 13, 2013 News Stories

Tulsa World

Fourth District Rep. Tom Cole joined Republicans on Monday clamoring for further investigation into last year's terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Cole said he is signing on as a co-sponsor of House Resolution 36, which would create a select committee to investigate the matter. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack, and Republicans say the Obama administration mishandled its initial response and then tried to cover up its failures.

May 13, 2013 Weekly Columns

More than eight months ago on September 11, the nation was shaken by the attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Claiming the lives of four innocent Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, that horrific night still demands further investigation before it can be laid to rest. Due to an uncooperative Administration and State Department who attempted to downplay the terrorist attack just eight weeks before the presidential election, we still don’t know the truth.

May 13, 2013 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) announced support of H. Res. 36, legislation that would create a select committee to investigate the Benghazi terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Both the supposed preventative actions and responses provided by the State Department and Obama Administration shortly after the September attack are still under scrutiny.

March 13, 2013 News Stories

Tulsa World - Staff Report

Fourth District Rep. Tom Cole joined Republicans on Monday clamoring for further investigation into last year's terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

 Cole said he is signing on as a co-sponsor of House Resolution 36, which would create a select committee to investigate the matter. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack, and Republicans say the Obama administration mishandled its initial response and then tried to cover up its failures.

December 21, 2012 Weekly Columns

The "Accountability Review Board" assembled by the State Department to investigate security failures leading to the Benghazi terror attack has released a report that fails to hold any senior officials  accountable for the assault that claimed four American lives. 

December 7, 2012 Press Release
Decision Means More Jobs for Elgin and Lawton Area; Better Equipment for Army

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