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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2015

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LoBIONDO. I thank you, Chairman Frelinghuysen, and also want to thank Ranking Member Peter Visclosky for setting an example of how to take care of our Nation's dramatic needs and do it in an inclusive, bipartisan fashion.

Chairman Frelinghuysen has shown great leadership in providing the resources our warfighters need to successfully defend our Nation, both here and abroad. He and I have often worked together on issues of shared interest, and I thank him for engaging with me on this very important issue.

Currently, the aircraft that are meant to protect our Nation's sovereign air space from both domestic and foreign threats, and also are routinely deployed, with the big Air Force, into war theaters overseas have gone without much-needed upgrades.

The F-16 Block 30 aircraft are tasked with a mission that absolutely cannot fail. The 177th Fighter Wing out of Atlantic City, New Jersey, along with other Air National Guard wings throughout the country, are assigned this critically important task of ensuring our home defense and, again, being able to integrate fully with the big Air Force into conflicts overseas, as they have done multiple times and, in fact, they are doing right now as we speak.

Due to the reduction of modernization programs, these F-16 Block 30 aircraft are without key combat avionic upgrades, such as the Scalable Agile Beam Radar.

Threats to our Nation continue to grow all over the world, from sovereign countries and terrorist organizations alike. The diversity of threats means that these aircraft must have the latest capability to make split-second decisions to protect our Nation here and abroad.

I ask that the chairman work with me to ensure that our Nation's airspace is properly defended, and that these F-16 aircraft are properly fitted for the threats of the 21st century.

With that, I yield to my good friend, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Frelinghuysen).


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