Letter to The Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy

All 13 members of the Virginia Congressional delegation today joined in a letter to U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to praise the seamless coordination among local, state and military responders following the April 6th F/A-18D crash in Virginia Beach.

The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Jim Webb (D ) and Mark Warner (D), and U.S. Reps. Robert Wittman (R-1), Scott Rigell (R-2), Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-3), Randy Forbes (R-4), Robert Hurt (R-5), Bob Goodlatte (R-6), Eric Cantor (R-7), James Moran (D-8), Morgan Griffith (R-9), Frank Wolf (R-10) and Gerald Connolly (D-11).

The text of the letter is below, and a PDF version of the signed letter is attached.

April 17, 2012
The Honorable Ray Mabus
Secretary of the Navy
1000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-1000
Dear Secretary Mabus,

Please allow us to convey the sincere gratitude of the entire Virginia congressional delegation to the Department of the Navy and Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana personnel for their rapid response, superb teamwork and sensitivity to the immediate needs of those impacted by the April 6th F/A-18D crash in Virginia Beach. There is no question that the seamless coordination between state, local, and military responders prevented additional casualties and property losses. We also want to salute the spontaneous efforts of local residents who quickly pulled the two naval aviators to safety and then assisted fire crews as they deployed firefighting equipment. This teamwork continued as officials from the Commonwealth of Virginia coordinated with Virginia Beach and Navy representatives to provide assistance to those residents who sustained damage or loss. This finely tuned coordination between civilian and military first responders and relief workers is truly commendable.

As the bipartisan elected congressional leadership of Virginia, we want to ensure to you that we view the Navy as an integral part of the fabric of our Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads communities. The men and women who serve in Hampton Roads are our neighbors, friends, and family. As Virginians, we are extremely proud of the important role played by NAS Oceana. Since 1943, NAS Oceana has trained many of our Nation's most elite pilots and leaders, reflecting the Navy's commitment to provide our warfighters with top-notch training.

We have worked as a delegation over many years to support this training and ongoing community partnership. In fact, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the City of Virginia Beach have worked hand-in-hand with the Navy to actively address and control encroachment issues at NAS Oceana. Since 2006, the city and state have proactively spent more than $115 million to remove structures from the Accident Prevention Zone located adjacent to NAS Oceana.
We look forward to continuing and strengthening this long and mutually beneficial partnership between the Commonwealth, the City of Virginia Beach and the naval aviation community.

_________________ _________________
Jim Webb Mark R.Warner
United States Senator United States Senator
_________________ _________________
Robert Wittman Scott Rigell
Member of Congress Member of Congress
_________________ _________________
Robert C. "Bobby" Scott J. Randy Forbes
Member of Congress Member of Congress
_________________ _________________
Robert Hurt Bob Goodlatte
Member of Congress Member of Congress
_________________ _________________
Eric I. Cantor James P. Moran
Member of Congress Member of Congress
_________________ _________________
H. Morgan Griffith Frank R. Wolf
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Gerald E. Connolly
Member of Congress

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