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Our military leaders and national defense experts agree: the world is an increasingly dangerous place. We face threats at home and abroad not only from terror groups, but from state actors like Russia, North Korea, and Iran. My objective is to ensure we bring the full capabilities of our armed forces to bear in meeting the reality of the threats facing the United States and to project power around the globe to deter our adversaries.
The first element necessary to ensuring our nation's security is a defense budget adequate to meet the threats we face. The sequester - indiscriminate cuts to defense spending - has done grave damage to our military readiness and greatly reduced training and funding for equipment and maintenance. We must reverse that damage by boosting defense spending.
I support a base defense budget that at the very minimum matches 4 percent of gross domestic product. We owe our active duty, reserve, and National Guard service men and women no less than our full support for their sacrifice on behalf of our country.
Seapower and Projection Forces
I was honored to be named Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. And given the global security environment, this new assignment comes at a critical time.
In this post, I will also oversee the Navy’s plans to rebuild its fleet from the current level of 274 ships to the Navy’s stated goal of over 350 ships. I also look forward to supporting the development of our Columbia Class Submarines and B-21 Long Range Strike- Bombers.
As Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, I will have the opportunity to serve both our Nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I am committed to ensuring that our military remains the greatest fighting force the world has ever known.
I, along with Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT), serve as a Co-Chairman of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus.
We began the Caucus with three main objectives:
* to build a venue for Members to discuss shipbuilding issues that impact their districts,
* to work together to support increased shipbuilding efforts for the United States Navy that will enhance our national security, and
* to improve awareness regarding shipbuilding matters across Capitol Hill.
Our Caucus provides a forum for Members of Congress, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard officers, and industry leaders to exchange views on the current and future states of domestic shipbuilding.
In addition to being the home of the world’s largest naval station and the largest concentration of U.S. Navy forces, Virginia also boasts the shipyards and skilled workers needed to build and maintain the next generation of ships and submarines in our Navy’s fleet. My role as Co-Chairman of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus gives me yet another opportunity to advocate for Virginia in Congress.
The safety and security of Virginians is my greatest concern and top priority. We must never forget that there are individuals, groups, and indeed, entire countries that seek to do harm to our citizens and destroy our way of life. In every corner of the globe events are unfolding that will have a profound impact on the security of our nation and our allies. So we must be ever vigilant in protecting our homeland to ensure all of our citizens can live in peace and security.
I believe America, and the world, will be a safer place if the United States takes a leadership role in addressing these global challenges. Diplomacy will always be the best and preferred method for resolving difficult international issues. But if diplomacy fails, and when American interests are at stake, we must be prepared to act.