Press Releases

Air and Land Forces Subcommittee Chairman Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement regarding his vote in support of the fiscal year 2011 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):  

“This is a critically important bill, which ensures our brave men and women in harms way have the resources they need.  This year’s bill builds on the Committee’s efforts to support our military personnel, provide our forces with the equipment they need to perform today’s missions, and also ensuring that our military is properly resourced and postured to meet the future threats of the 21st century.

“The bill provides for a 1.9 percent pay raise for our military personnel, which is 0.5 percent higher than the President’s budget request. I am also pleased to see that the bill includes an authorization of $50 million for the Department of Defense Impact Aid program, which assists school districts serving the children of families stationed at Joint Base Leiws-McChord.  

“Additionally, in order to fund our reserves and National Guard at the appropriate level, this legislation provides an additional $700 million for National Guard and Reserve equipment.

“As the Chairman of the Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, I am pleased to see this legislation fully fund the President’s budget request related to the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle and the Stryker Vehicles, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and other Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Systems, as well as other vital equipment and systems used by the Army and Air Force.

“This bill is vitally important to our national security and I am proud of the support it provides to our troops and their efforts to keep us safe. I believe it strikes the right balance between fighting the conflicts of today, while preparing our forces for the conflicts of the future.”

The bill must be approved by the Full House of Representatives and the Senate before the President can sign it into law.

###


 
On Friday, April 30, 2010 Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) visited Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Arizona where he was briefed on how we train our Army’s unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and intelligence operators. Smith was also briefed on the work being done at the fort to provide soldiers with cultural and language training. This training helps to ensure soldiers are aware of the cultures in which they will be deployed.

Smith, chairman of the Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces and member of the Intelligence committee, said the trip provided valuable insight into what is done on the Arizona post and the important roll it plays in our national security.

“The work being done at Fort Huachuca is extremely important to our national security,” said Congressman Smith. “Our UAV and intelligence operators play an important roll in protecting our national security and they are receiving some of the best training in the world at Fort Huachuca. Additionally, the training being done at the fort provides our soldiers with the knowledge and understanding of other cultures that can often times be the different between a community supporting U.S. efforts abroad or the mission of our adversaries.”

The nearly daylong tour of the post included visits to a new training village built on the post that will provide more realistic experience for soldiers who will go to Iraq or Afghanistan. The day also included touring unmanned aerial systems and a stop at the Training and Doctrine Command’s Culture Center, which helps soldiers understand the importance of cultural differences.

###
Today, Air and Land Forces Subcommittee Chairman Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after House approval of H.R. 5013, the IMPROVE Acquisition Act of 2010, bipartisan legislation to overhaul the defense acquisition process:

“The existing acquisition process of the Department of Defense takes far too long and often times breeds excessive cost overruns. The process is susceptible to waste, fraud, and abuse. This must change. The current defense acquisition process must be reformed. When the system fails, it fails our troops and it fails the American tax payer.

“The legislation passed by the House today will help ensure that our brave men and women in uniform get the equipment they need to do their job in a more efficient and timely fashion. The legislation will overhaul the defense acquisition process by enacting four common sense reforms: establishing a better accountability system, improving the management of the acquisition workforce, creating an auditable financial management system at DOD, and expanding and strengthening the industrial base.

“These reforms, while not a panacea, are expected to save the taxpayer $135 billion over the next five years. That is a substantial amount of money, and these are substantial reforms. I applaud Congressman Rob Andrews and Congressman Mike Conaway as well as all the member of HASC who worked so hard on this issue over the last year.”

###
On Tuesday, April 27 2010, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) received the Goodwill National Policymaker Award for 2010. Smith recently sponsored legislation (H.R. 4299) to help expand the workforce training capacity of organizations like Goodwill.  He has continued to be a strong supporter of local Goodwill initiatives and projects such as the Milgard Work Opportunity Center, which recently opened in Tacoma, WA.

“For over 100 years, Goodwill has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to helping individuals in need develop the skills necessary to succeed,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “This work is not only inspiring, but it also builds strong communities and families.  They deserve our continued praise and support.”

“Congressman Smith has consistently supported Goodwill’s positions on our key legislative priorities, both on a national and local level,” said Terry Hayes, CEO of the Tacoma Goodwill Industries, who nominated Congressman Smith for the award.

At a reception in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, April 27, Smith was recognized and thanked for his ongoing concern for issues relevant to Goodwill. The reception was part of Goodwill Industries International’s fourth Advocacy Day — “Invest in the American Worker.”

Goodwill Industries International is a network of 180 community-based, independent agencies in the United States, Canada, and 13 other countries. Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,400 retail stores and online.

###

Today, Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09) introduced legislation to aggressively address the soaring unemployment rates within our veteran’s community. The Veterans Employment Assistance Act of 2010 includes a series of proposals that will expand training and education opportunities, enhance the ability to transition technical military skills to the civilian workforce, and improve small business assistance programs for veterans.

 “Our veterans have risked their lives to protect our country and our freedom and they deserve quality, well paying jobs when they return home,” said Congressman Smith. “While this seems like common sense, often times our veterans struggle to find work when they return home. The Veterans Employment Assistance Act takes a comprehensive approach to create new opportunities and expand existing support programs for our veterans.”

The Veterans Employment Assistance Act expands job training, placement services and entrepreneurship opportunities for veterans who may otherwise have fallen through the cracks of existing programs.

The Veterans Employment Act:

  • Establishes an apprenticeship pilot program that would encourage the employment of veterans on military construction projects.
  • Expands the Post-9/11 GI Bill to allow returning veterans to use the benefit for apprenticeship and on-job training programs that will help them acquire the skills they need to find stable, family-wage jobs in their communities.
  • Establishes a Veteran Business Center Program within the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide critical entrepreneurial training and counseling to veterans.
  • Creates pilot programs to test ways transitioning servicemembers can build on the technical skills learned in the military and better market those skills in the civilian workforce.
  • Establishes a Veterans Conservation Corps Grant Program and a Veterans Energy/Green Jobs Grant Program to connect veterans with the green jobs market.

Click HERE for a full section-by-section summary or HERE for the full text of the legislation.

###