Issue Position: Supporting Our National Security Strategy
Supporting Our National Security Strategy
"I wholeheartedly support our troops and will work to see that they receive the equipment they need and the benefits they deserve." - Senator Bob Corker
Senator Corker believes that a strong national defense begins with investment in our military and strong policies to achieve our national security goals.
Equipping a Strong Military: Today's U.S. military is the best-trained, best-equipped and best-led military in the world. To maintain our military superiority, Congress must continue to provide the necessary resources to raise, train and maintain a world-class military. Senator Corker believes Congress should provide the funding our troops need -- on-time and in full. To that end, Senator Corker consistently votes in favor of appropriations measures for our troops.
Supporting Tennessee's National Guard: More than 15,000 members strong, Tennessee's Air and Army National Guard stand ready to respond to any crisis at any time at home or abroad. Senator Corker works side-by-side with the Tennessee Congressional delegation to ensure that our Guardsmen and women have the proper equipment to carry out their mission. In addition, Senator Corker supports expansion of the capabilities of the Tennessee National Guard by bringing new missions to Tennessee that support our State and National security needs, such as the C-130 military sales training mission in Nashville.
Building Military Infrastructure at Home: Constructing and maintaining quality facilities at American military installations is an important factor in the training and quality of life for our service members and their families. Senator Corker supports projects that will enhance mission preparedness and family support. In fiscal year 2009, Senator Corker secured funding to replace the squadron operations facilities at McGhee-Tyson Airport for the Air National Guard, the construction of a school age services center for children at Fort Campbell, and the design of a chapel complex at Fort Campbell.
"Military families make tremendous sacrifices everyday to support their loved ones who are bravely serving our country. I thank America's military families for their extraordinary commitment to our nation." - Senator Bob Corker
Enhancing Benefits for Military Families: Defending our Nation demands great personal sacrifice and selfless service, both from service members and their families. Today, there are over 660,000 military spouses living in the United States. Despite being employable, these spouses are often discriminated against in the hiring process because of frequent relocations. In response, Senator Corker introduced the "Military Spouse Education and Employment Act of 2008" to provide new hiring incentives for employers who hire military spouses, authorize full transferability of the GI Bill benefit from a service member to his/her spouse or child, and study other employment opportunity programs that the Department of Defense could offer this important group of patriots. Transferability of the GI Bill benefit became law on June 30, 2008 and a new program to assist military spouses in pursuing portable careers was signed into law on October 14, 2008.
Promoting a Successful Strategy in Iraq: Senator Corker has traveled to the war zones to speak with commanders on the ground about the best strategies for defeating the terrorist and insurgent threats. In Iraq, he believes that General Petraeus implemented a strategy that improved security. The Iraqi Security Forces, through training by the US and our coalition partners, is now capable of taking greater responsibility for their own security which has resulted in the transfer of lead responsibility to Iraq for operations in most provinces across the country. In addition, the reconstruction of key infrastructure and capability of the government to deliver services are vital contributions to an enduring security in Iraq. To that end, Senator Corker introduced a resolution to encourage Iraq's regional neighbors to provide the reconstruction assistance they pledged during donor meetings. The Senate passed this resolution on May 1, 2008. In addition, Senator Corker voted in favor of a provision to require Iraq to take greater responsibility for funding their own reconstruction.
Promoting a Successful Strategy in Afghanistan: Senator Corker visited with leaders of the NATO operations in Afghanistan and President Karzai regarding the progress of military and reconstruction operations across the country. Senator Corker feels there is great opportunity for success in stabilizing this impoverished, war-stricken nation. However, he believes that we must commit more forces for training and security missions and enhance poppy eradication programs before we lose the support of the Afghan people.
Protecting the Voting Rights of Service Members: Voting is a fundamental right granted to all Americans. However, election ballots of many members of the military serving overseas -- those fighting to protect our rights and freedoms -- have not been counted in recent elections. In response, Senator Corker signed a letter to the Administration requesting an investigation into the implementation of programs designed to assist military voters and is a co-sponsor on legislation that will improve delivery times for military ballots.
Recognizing the Contributions of the Airborne Community: The 101st Airborne Division, headquartered at Fort Campbell, has played a critical role in defending our Nation's interests since 1942. Senator Corker co-sponsored a resolution to recognize the contributions of all our Nation's airborne forces and designate August 16, 2007 as "National Airborne Day." The resolution passed the Senate on June 20, 2007.