Rep. Hoyer, Top Defense Democrat Rep. Skelton, Celebrate Launch of New Agreement for PAX
Monday, September 26, 2005
Lexington Park, MD - Congressman Steny Hoyer (MD-05) attended a luncheon and ceremony today to celebrate a new agreement between the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency (NGA). Earlier this year, NGA and NAVAIR signed an agreement (MOA) to jointly develop and operate advanced transformational warfare systems and capabilities at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Lexington Park and St. Inigoes??.
"The signing agreement that will be commemorated at Pax later today opens the incredible capabilities of NAVAIR to the NGA organization," said Hoyer. "Strong investment in good people and facilities here at Pax make this base one of the best installations in the Department of Defense to support the NGA mission. However, we also believe that NAVAIR will benefit greatly. Supporting NGA expands the role for NAVAIR and ties us into many other diverse communities that will sharpen and broaden our customer base and national security role. In the end, our military value will grow even greater as a result of this partnership.
"Unmanned systems - not just aircraft - and how we fully integrate them into a combat environment is an emerging opportunity for Pax and St. Inigoes. This agreement signals a transformation for our installations to use their capabilities to support not only the naval aviation community, but many others, both inside and outside the Department of Defense, which are a part of the intelligence community," added Hoyer.
Hoyer also welcomed Representative Ike Skelton (MO-04), the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, to the day's events. Rep. Skelton has been involved in initiating the funding for several important programs that benefit the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
"I enjoyed visiting Southern Maryland with Congressman Hoyer to meet with the community members whose support is so important to the success of the Patuxent River facility. Congressman Hoyer and I frequently work together on Armed Services and national security issues, and I can tell you that no Member of Congress fights harder or cares more about our national defense and the men and women who serve our country," said Rep. Skelton.
The luncheon at the J.T. Daugherty Center was co-hosted by the St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce, the Patuxent Partnership, and the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance and was followed by an official ceremony at Pax River Air Station between NGA and NAVAIR.
In addition to Hoyer and Skelton, guests at the luncheon included Lt. Gen. Jas. Clapper, Jr. USAF (Ret.), Director, NGA, Vice Admiral Wally B. Massenburg, Cmdr., NAVAIR, Mr. John Robusto, SES Pax River, Steve Long, NGA, Todd Morgan, President, Navy Alliance, Martin Fairclough, Exec. Director, Patuxent Partnership, Bill McKissick, President Chamber of Commerce, Bill Scarafia, Exec. Director, Chamber Of Commerce, Bill Balderson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air Programs and key Congressional staff from the House Appropriations, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees.