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Hearing of the House Armed Services Committee - FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act

Hearing

By:
Date:
Location: Unknown

Chairman McKeon, Ranking Member Smith, and Members of the Committee, thank you for allowing me to testify this morning.

As you may know, I represent the Seventh Congressional District of Tennessee which is home to the brave men and women of Ft. Campbell.

Ft. Campbell is home to the storied 101st Airborne, the 5th Special Forces Group and the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. Nearly 3,500 Officers and 27,000 enlisted personnel call Ft. Campbell home.

Like many installations across the country, Ft. Campbell is facing reductions that will have an impact on military readiness programs as well as installation infrastructure.

I was pleased to work with this committee last year in support of the Army Flying Hours Program. This vital program provides aviation training resources for individual crewmembers and units according to approved aviation training strategies. In addition, it also provides individual and collective proficiency in support of ongoing combat and non-combat air operations.

For aviation units like the 101st Airborne, this training is not only vital to mission success but to the safety of our soldiers.

Due to Army budget constraints, Army aviators will only be provided with 10.1 hours of training- per crew- per month. This is below the recommended requirement of 12.5 hours of training-per crew-per month.

I ask the members of this committee to once again pay close attention to restoring the Army Flying Hours Program to its full capacity in FY 15.

I would also like to bring to this committee's attention the great need for Army installation infrastructure funding. As members of this committee may very well know, DoD's model calls for a level of funding to cover 80 to 90 percent of the needs of an installation.

Currently, installations like Ft. Campbell will be reliant on only 62 percent of the required funding set forth by DoD's model. This reduction in funding if left unaddressed will surely result in higher future costs to repair these important facilities.

I fully believe that our Army infrastructure is a key component to military readiness and is one that must not be forgotten. I stand ready to work with the Army and this committee to address this concern.

Another issue that deserves the full attention of every member of this committee is that of security encroachment. I am greatly concerned that foreign companies are building and acquiring projects near DOD ranges and facilities that give them the ability to monitor sensitive activities.

I believe that we should look at amending the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States' process so that DoD is able to raise proximity and foreign entity concerns when it is a co-lead agency reviewing a transaction.

It's imperative that DoD is able to assess potential security threats related to foreign acquisition or ownership of assets and has the ability to mitigate or prevent a transaction from moving forward.

Thank you for allowing me to testify this morning. I stand ready to work with this committee on strengthening programs and review processes that are vital to our national defense.


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