Congressman Adam Smith (WA-9), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement regarding the U.S. Army’s plan to form a new Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a decision that will bring 1,400 new soldiers and 44 new helicopters to JBLM:
“The addition of 1,400 soldiers and 44 helicopters to Joint Base Lewis-McChord is terrific news for the South Sound and Washington State. It’s an honor for our community to become the home of another important military asset, and we will continue to see the benefits of job and business growth for years to come.
“The Army has carefully studied this issue and their decision to consolidate existing aviation units and establish a Combat Aviation Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord affirms the strategic importance of the base. No other joint base in the nation sustains an operational force of this range and size.
“As the largest employer in Pierce County, Joint Base Lewis-McChord is a key economic engine for the South Sound. The stationing of this aviation unit will be another gain for businesses that serve the region, providing new opportunities for civilian job growth as well as additional military personnel.
“The population of the Joint Base has undergone rapid growth since 2003, when then-Fort Lewis supported 19,000 military members. Today the Joint Base includes over 43,000 military personnel. As more families settle into the JBLM community, I remain committed to working with the joint base, as well as state and local officials, at addressing the pressing infrastructure needs both on and off base.
“I would like to personally welcome the 1,400 new soldiers and families who will soon be calling the Pacific Northwest home.”
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(Please note: The Army’s Record of Decision will be in the federal register March 31, 2011).
Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following statement after the President’s speech this evening on the international effort to prevent an international crisis in Libya:
"Tonight, the President clearly articulated his rationale for leading an international effort to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Libya. As Colonel Gadhafi moved forward with his campaign of violence and intimidation against the Libya people, the Administration rallied the international community to intervene. Today, it is clear that our subsequent military action prevented the slaughter thousands of civilians.
"Building on this speech, the Administration will send a number of key officials to Congress this week to continue to communicate what the goal is in Libya. While initially I had some concerns with the level of communication between the Administration, Congress and the American people, I applaud the Administration for its recent efforts. The President and his leadership team have clearly stated to the American people and Congress what the goal is in Libya. This must continue.
"The President has also said that he does not intend to use military force to remove Gadhafi from power, but he will pursue diplomatic and economic measures to help pressure Gadhafi to step down. This is the right approach. While it is important that Gadhafi leave power, I believe the combination of diplomatic and economic pressure, coupled with the no fly zone, is the best way to make this happen.
"I applaud the President for stating a clear case as to why we intervened in Libya and as policy makers it is important that we make it clear what the criteria are for interventions of this kind moving forward.
"It is also important to note that many who urged the Administration to act, are now criticizing the Administration for its actions. While the Administration could have done a better job of working with Congress in the days prior to taking action, it is clear that U.S. leadership prevented this humanitarian crisis from getting worse and saved thousands of lives. As a nation, that is something we should be proud of."
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Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement on participating in the Washington Innovation Summit’s panel, “How Washington Wins: Pulling Together the Drivers of Growth,” at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond:
“The pressures of competition from the international marketplace are greater than ever, and America’s continued economic success requires us to remain a leading force for innovation on the world stage. Today, I am pleased to participate in the Washington Innovation Summit along with local business and technology leaders whose pioneering work has placed the Pacific Northwest at the center of the New Economy. Our region provides a model for how the U.S. will succeed in the 21st century: Innovation driving entrepreneurship, moving industry in new directions, and setting the bar high for global competitors to follow.
“Policymakers must remember that government cannot create the spark of ingenuity for a new product, nor the drive to see that idea through to a fully-realized business venture. However we do have the responsibility to foster an environment that encourages new enterprises and helps businesses of the future flourish. This effort includes educating a world-class workforce, rewarding innovation, deploying and improving cutting-edge infrastructure, and balancing federal budgets—overall, setting the stage for successful entrepreneurship and growth.
“The South Puget Sound region has attracted many new high wage, high-tech jobs, especially in the fields of scientific innovation and security advancements. I am proud of the businesses and people of the South Sound whose accomplishments in biotech, aerospace, and green technologies demonstrate the advantages of doing business in our community, and I am always looking for any way I can help them succeed.
“America’s economy is continuing to become more global, dynamic and technology-driven. While governments don’t create commerce, they certainly enact policies that make it easier or more difficult for economies to thrive. Policy and business leaders must work together to advance the competitiveness of U.S. products, spur innovation, and provide global leadership into the 21st century.”
Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement in response to the President’s speech this afternoon on the developing situation in Libya:
“I am deeply concerned about the developing situation in Libya. As we have all witnessed, Gadhafi has pursued a brutal campaign of violence and intimidation against the Libyan people. This must come to an end.
“These heinous actions must continue to be met with international condemnation and a multilateral response. In this light, I applaud the United Nations for building on previous actions and coming together to put forth a resolution to pressure Gadhafi to end hostilities. This resolution builds on previous sanctions and applies substantial pressure on the Gadhafi regime to end its brutal assault on the Libyan people.
“Moving forward, it is important that Congress plays a substantial role in any decision that might lead to action by the United States military. Committing U.S. troops to a conflict abroad is not a decision that should be made lightly. At this point in time, it is unclear how or if the President intends to utilize US military force, but it will be critical for the administration to keep Congress closely informed as it makes those decisions.”
“Again, we are all deeply concerned about the developing situation in Libya and hope to see a positive outcome. However, any use of U.S. military force will come with consequences and I urge the administration to seek Congressional input as they move forward with any plans to use U.S. military force.”
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More information about the House Armed Services Committee