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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

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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