“The Senate Armed Services Committee gives me a prime opportunity to be a strong advocate for Alabama’s robust defense sector and the men and women who drive it.”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) authored the following op-ed in the Montgomery Advertiser highlighting his recent visits to Ft. Rucker and Mobile and his work on behalf of the state’s defense sector on the Senate Armed Services Committee:
Count on me to be a strong voice for our military
Senator Tommy Tuberville
March 1, 2021
Growing up, my father was my hero. Looking up to my dad doesn’t make me unique, but he was. He drove a tank across Europe during World War II, receiving five Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart during his military career. From him, I learned the values of hard work, determination, and love for my country – values that led me to want to serve in the U.S. Senate so I could give back to the country that has blessed me and my family.
My father died on active duty, but whenever I meet our men and women in uniform, I continue to see his same strength and patriotism. Alabama is home to the finest servicemen and women in the country, where they serve in world class installations like Redstone Arsenal, Ft. Rucker, Maxwell-Gunter, Marshall Space Flight Center, Coast Guard Station Mobile, numerous National Guard facilities, and the incoming Space Command. The military is also a key economic engine of our state, representing $17 billion in GDP and supporting more than 200,000 jobs. From missile defense to army helicopters, F-35s to satellites in space: Alabama is key to making the United States the most powerful military in the world.
The efforts of these brave men and women to keep us safe, along with my father’s example, are why I am especially honored to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee. On this committee, we conduct one of Congress’ greatest responsibilities: to fund and oversee America’s military operations at home and abroad. Providing the tools for our service members for today’s needs and tomorrow’s enemy is extremely important to our national security.
This committee gives me a prime opportunity to be a strong advocate for Alabama’s robust defense sector and the men and women who drive it.
Being an effective voice in Washington starts with listening back home – God gave us two ears and one mouth, which seems to be about the right ratio for listening vs. talking. The military touches every corner of our state, and I’ll be spending my first months on the job visiting Alabama’s military installations to see the situation on the ground firsthand and to listen to folks’ ideas, feedback, and most especially their needs.
I started my journey this past week at two incredibly important sites for our national defense, Ft. Rucker and the Port of Mobile. At Ft. Rucker, I saw the training that America’s Army pilots undergo to prepare for combat and support missions around the globe. Ft. Rucker is the premier Army helicopter training facility in the country, and as our military phases out the Black Hawk utility and Apache attack helicopters over the next few years, the need for new training, simulators, instructors, and maintenance will be more important than ever.
In Mobile, I joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) who oversee the infrastructure of Alabama’s strategic waterways. Together, we toured the Port of Mobile, where the USACE are dredging the port to allow for larger ships to navigate the port, which in turn will allow for greater commerce and military capabilities. This work will also help Mobile’s shipbuilders, like Austal USA, who showed me their ongoing work to provide the U.S. Navy with world class combat and transport vessels. The more efficient our port operates, the better we can defend a strategic harbor and drive further investment and jobs to Alabama.
There’s a lot of work to be done to ensure our military remains the strongest in the world, but Alabama will leading the way, as always. Our state is truly blessed to have Mike Rogers as the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, and my colleague Richard Shelby as the lead Republican appropriator in the Senate. Together, we and the rest of our Congressional delegation will ensure Alabama’s military sector is well supported.
I’m encouraged by the opportunities that lie ahead for the military in our state. Through my work in Washington, Alabamians can rest assured knowing I’ll be a strong voice for them and those who proudly wear our nation’s uniform.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.