Press Releases

Today, the Air Force announced that Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington State is a final candidate to serve as a base for the KC-46A aerial refueling tanker.  The base is a candidate for the first Main Operating Base, which will host three KC-46A squadrons of twelve aircraft each beginning in 2016.  House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement after the announcement:

“I am pleased to see Fairchild Air Force Base included in the list of final candidates to host KC-46A,” Smith said. “Fairchild has played a critical part in our nation’s aerial refueling effort with the KC-135, and it is my hope that it will continue to do so with the next generation of aerial refueling tankers.”

After identifying the basing criteria in April 2012, the Air Force examined military installations across the country to select the candidates for the first two operational bases for KC-46A.  In addition to Fairchild Air Force Base, the other candidates for the first Main Operating Base announced by the Air Force include Altus Air Force Base, OK; Grand Forks Air Force Base, ND; and McConnell Air Force Base, KS. The Air Force will conduct site surveys of the candidate installations before announcing the preferred and alternative bases in April 2013. A final basing decision is expected to be made by the Air Force in Spring 2014.

On May 16, 2012, Congressman Smith signed a letter with local Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and the rest of the Washington State Congressional Delegation to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, encouraging the Air Force to base KC-46A at Fairchild. The letter detailed Fairchild’s capacity to accommodate the tanker and its success with previous aerial refueling efforts.
Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement on the passage of the H.R. 8, the fiscal cliff agreement:

"I voted against the fiscal cliff deal because it left too much uncertainty for government programs, lacked a realistic path towards deficit reduction, and fell short in providing necessary revenues to effectively move towards fiscal responsibility.

"The legislation leaves far too much uncertainty on government spending. Sequestration still looms, it was simply delayed two months, and the debt ceiling was not addressed.  As the Ranking Member on the Armed Services Committee, I am concerned that our Department of Defense once again faces a situation where they do not know how much money they will have to spend, and the very real possibility of indiscriminate across-the-board cuts just two months from now.  I am also concerned that all other areas of discretionary spending--education, transportation, infrastructure, housing, and more--face this same crippling uncertainty.  I recognize that defense and other areas of spending will face cuts, but we should be clear on what those cuts will be and they need to be more thoughtful than the blind across-the-board approach of sequestration.

"Second, the deal did nothing to address our long term debt and deficit problems.  No grand bargain was reached that could help our economy right now by giving some clear picture of what our ten-year plan is to achieve some measure of fiscal responsibility.  I understand that our current situation means that balancing the budget in that ten-year period is not a wise policy decision.  But we should at least have something in place that shows we will keep the debt at a manageable level.  This bill failed to do that.

"And third, not only did this bill fail to offer that ten-year plan, it made getting to a reasonable ten-year plan far more difficult by making permanent 90 percent of the Bush Tax Cuts.  By not allowing those tax cuts to expire, and then making them permanent, we took $3.5 Trillion of revenue off the table. This will lead to one of two results, both of which I am strongly against. Either our debt will climb over 100 percent of GDP or we will have to make devastating cuts in vital programs like Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, education, transportation, and more.  

"We face very tough choices right now.  Our economy is weak, and our debt is substantial and growing by nearly one trillion dollars a year with no end in sight.  There are no easy answers.  But continuing to take an approach that delays addressing the fundamental choices we face will only make matters worse."

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member, Congressman Adam Smith, released the following statement after Senator John Kerry was nominated to serve as the next Secretary of State:

“Senator John Kerry will make an exceptional Secretary of State. I have worked with John for years, and his understanding of our nation’s foreign policy challenges is second to none. As Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, he also fully understands the power of diplomacy, and using soft power to achieve our national security objectives. This understanding will be key to his success.

“Senator Kerry is a skilled speaker, and a strategic thinker and he will be an essential addition to President Obama’s national security team. I look forward to working with him.”


Washington, DC- Today, 7 members of the Washington State Congressional Delegation applauded the release (link to report here) of the Washington Military Alliance’s report as an important step in gaining a better understanding of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) footprint in Washington State.  DoD’s investment represents over 4 percent of the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), so it is critical to evaluate the assets Washington has and how they fit into the DoD’s future plans.

Following the release of the report on Tuesday, December 18th , Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA), together with Representatives Adam Smith (D-WA-09), Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01), Norm Dicks (D-WA-06), Rick Larsen (D-WA-02) and Jim McDermott(D-WA-07) issued the following joint statement:

“We applaud the Washington Military Alliance (WMA), Governor Christine Gregoire, and the completion of this report that details the critical role Washington defense communities play in our national security and the opportunities they have to enhance that role in the future.  In light of potential cuts to the defense budget, this report outlines steps that local, State, and Federal entities can take to continue working together to support and enhance the vital contributions that Washington State makes to our national security.

“We recognize the proud military history our state has and we look forward to continuing to work together as a delegation with the Governor-elect to support local stakeholders and our military installations, servicemembers, and their families.”

The Washington Military Alliance brings together representatives from community groups and organizations to promote military economic development in Washington State.  The Alliance meets regularly to coordinate priorities and recommend actions as military budget decisions are considered.

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith released the following statement on the passing of Senator Daniel Inouye:

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Senator Daniel Inouye.

"Senator Inouye was a true American hero and dedicated his life to public service.  He served in World War II, where he received a Medal of Honor, was elected Hawaii’s first Congressman, tirelessly advocated for veterans, spoke out for minority rights, was the highest ranking Asian American politician ever, and never stopped fighting for his constituents.

"Senator Inouye always put his country above politics, and he was a model for elected officials everywhere."