OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today addressed the Oklahoma City Chamber on issues surrounding the state of the aerospace defense industry. Inhofe was joined by Gen. Norton Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the Air Force; Maj. Gen. Bruce Litchfield, Commander of the OKC Air Logistics Center at Tinker AFB; and Gov. Mary Fallin.
“This discussion could not have occurred at a more important time,” said Inhofe. “Providing for our national defense is one of the most important roles of the federal government, and the Aerospace Defense Industry plays a major role not only in our national defense, but has long been a cornerstone of our state's economic activity.”
Inhofe blasted the four years of repeated cuts to military spending that have come under President Obama’s administration.
He pointed out, “This year, President Obama’s plan is to cut the defense budget cut by $487 billion over the next 10 years. With this newest budget, everything in government is growing except our military spending. Defending this nation is supposed to be our number one concern and highest priority. Yet, this defense cutting budget increases risk at a time when global security is not improving.”
Inhofe also touched on the latest efforts for a new Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) round saying, “While our Oklahoma military installations have benefited from previous BRAC rounds, I oppose another BRAC round for two reasons. First, we have reduced our force capability to an unacceptable level, and to bring our infrastructure down to an unacceptable level is not something we should do. Second, we have an immediate fiscal problem, and conducting BRAC rounds actually costs more in the near-term. The 1995 BRAC cost $6.6B and saved approximately $6.4B and the 2005 BRAC round cost $32.4B with a GAO estimated savings of $13.7B over 20 years.”
Inhofe applauded city, county, and state leaders, the military, the FAA, and the companies in the aerospace defense sector for taking the steps necessary to keep Oklahoma on the forefront into the future.