Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman Garamendi Speaks Up for Vital Missions at Travis and Beale Air Force Bases at Meeting with Senate and House Members on Defense Authorization Bill

September 17, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03) advocated for the missions at Travis and Beale Air Force Bases as he participated in a meeting with other Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to discuss the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House has passed its version of the NDAA and the Senate is expected to take up their version up later this year. The bicameral meeting was convened to hash out differences between the two bills.

Today, Garamendi met with General Darren W. McDew, the Commander of Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. They discussed Travis Air Force Base, halting the spread of ebola in West Africa, and ISIL.

Travis Air Force Base, located in Fairfield, performs an Air Mobility mission that involves conducting aerial refueling, aeromedical evacuation, and rapidly transporting military assets around the world for both war fighting and humanitarian purposes. Beale Air Force Base, located near Marysville, primarily performs an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission to help the United States identify foreign threats, particularly in corners of the world where on-the-ground intelligence is exceptionally dangerous.

“During a meeting with my colleagues in the Senate and House, I made clear that Travis and Beale Air Force Bases perform vital missions for our nation’s defense,” said Garamendi, a Member of the House Armed Services Committee. “As we see in the current conflict with ISIL, Air Mobility and ISR are of paramount importance for the wars and humanitarian crises of the 21st Century. To effectively carry out these missions, our Airmen need the right tools. That is why I also strongly encouraged my colleagues to continue the Global Hawk, U-2, and KC-10 programs until the next generation platform, such as the KC-46, are ready. My office is diligently working with the Solano and Yuba/Sutter communities and the Department of Defense to put our Air Force Bases at the front of the line for the most valuable Air Mobility and ISR assets coming down the pipe in the next few years.”

Last week, Garamendi hosted a meeting of the Air Mobility Caucus, which he co-chairs with Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS-04) to discuss the future of Air Mobility technology.

Our Air Mobility and ISR missions have played an outsized role in the current conflict with ISIL. KC-10 planes have flown hundreds of support sorties and the Global Hawk and U-2 have provided crucial intelligence in support of both the air strikes and humanitarian air drops. In recent years, these missions have played invaluable roles in investigating and evacuating U.S. personnel following the Fukishima nuclear disaster. They have also supplied our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and monitored terrorists in remote lawless lands.

The U-2 and Global Hawk play complementary roles. For example, the lead commander for American troops in South Korea has said they work in tandem as part of intelligence operations on the peninsula.