By Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) - The Augusta Chronicle
Providing for the common defense is more than just a promise to our citizens and military. It is the foremost responsibility of the federal government, established in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
Just recently, I was nominated by my colleagues to serve as the newest member of the House Armed Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over all defense and military policy, nuclear weapons production and military installations across our nation.
At a time when America is facing a vast array of unprecedented threats, ensuring the safety and security of the American people is my top priority...
After more than five years of steady cuts to the defense budget, during which our men and women in uniform remained in continuous combat, our military has been constrained by the failure of the previous administration to commit needed resources. This neglect has created an alarming readiness gap that we must fix in the short-term.
I am confident Congress will soon come to an agreement that adequately funds the Department of Defense based upon the military’s needs. However, the duty of Congress to raise and regulate the Armed Forces goes beyond authorizing and appropriating funding; it is incumbent upon us to conduct rigorous oversight to identify ongoing problems, inefficiencies or shortfalls within our military and craft long-term, responsible solutions.
This includes streamlining and reforming antiquated acquisition processes, auditing the Pentagon and ensuring our service members have the resources they and their families need.
In this time where technology never stops evolving, it is essential that our military is able to acquire the most advanced weapons systems in a timely manner. We cannot afford to be technologically inferior to potential adversaries, and therefore must find ways to work with our industrial base on all platforms. We must rethink the way our military approaches space and defend our satellite network – which has become an integral part of every American’s daily life.
We must recruit and retain talented cyber warriors, who are on the front lines of the world’s newest and most hotly contested domain. We must find ways to reduce an at-times unsustainable operations tempo for our current force and assure our men and women in uniform that they and their families retain access to the benefits they have earned.
These challenges – and others – may seem daunting, but they must be addressed.
I am honored and humbled to be part of the process of crafting policies to resolve these issues, and look forward to working diligently with my colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee to fulfill our sacred constitutional duty and defend our great country.
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