On Wednesday, September 26th, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), the highest ranking Democratic member on the House Armed Services Committee, toured Hanscom Air Force Base and Lincoln Laboratory.
Niki Tsongas, the only member in the Massachusetts House delegation serving on the Armed Services Committee, has been working to highlight the significance of Massachusetts' installations, and was able to include provisions advancing the interest of Hanscom AFB in the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act.
"Our Massachusetts military installations provide essential security to our Armed Services by developing and procuring cutting edge communications, radar and other electronic capabilities for our servicemen and women," said Congresswoman Tsongas. "They are also substantial economic drivers in our region. A recent study by the UMass Donahue Institute found that in Fiscal Year 2011, these installations contribute nearly $14.2 billion to the Commonwealth's economy and over 46,000 Massachusetts jobs."
"That is why I felt it was so important to invite Rep. Adam Smith, the highest ranking Democratic Member of the House Armed Services Committee, to visit Hanscom Air Force Base and Lincoln Labs today so that he can have a firsthand view of the remarkable work being done here in Massachusetts," Tsongas added.
"Massachusetts continues investing in and marshaling some of the best cyber minds and resources in the world, which provides unmatched capabilities and benefits to the Air Force and other stakeholders. I remain very confident in Hanscom's capabilities, and believe the base is uniquely positioned to take advantage of all of our local assets such as the numerous defense firms, research centers and universities nearby," said Tsongas.
"I appreciated the opportunity to tour this impressive installation with Congresswoman Tsongas today," said Congressman Smith. "Hanscom is a major resource for our nation. Moving forward, it is well positioned to continue to leverage the highly skilled workforce and advanced technological companies and institutions that are unique to this region. On a global scale, the assets deployed from the base provide vital support to our men and women around the world as they confront threats to our national security."
While visiting the base, Tsongas and Smith toured MIT Lincoln Labs, which is planning a $450 million upgrade in facilities to further support the mission at Hanscom. Updating and modernizing these critical laboratories will allow Lincoln, the Defense Department's largest federally funded research and development laboratory center, stay on the cutting edge of advanced technologies that are the future of our national defense for decades to come.
"Bringing together the cutting edge capabilities that Hanscom delivers to the Air Force with the pioneering research and development taking place at MIT's Lincoln Labs will help our nation better confront current threats and prepare for future ones in a cost effective manner, all while simultaneously strengthening our economy," said Tsongas. "I look forward to continuing to partner with Congressman Smith to preserve these unique and irreplaceable Massachusetts installations."