Posted by Randy | May 13, 2015
A quick heads up: There are currently two provisions in this year’s defense policy bill that deal with immigration. One of them urges the Secretary of Defense to review allowing DACA recipients (young illegal immigrants) to serve in the armed forces, while the other calls on the Pentagon to analyze how DACA recipients could expand the number of potential recruits.
Both of these provisions were offered as amendments by Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee. I voted against both during the Committee markup; however, they narrowly passed and were included in the defense policy bill.
That’s why I am supporting new amendments that will strip these provisions from the final defense policy bill. Protecting and providing for our servicemembers and the United States’ military readiness should not be derailed by partisan agendas – on either side of the aisle – over other policy issues.
Posted by Randy | April 23, 2015
Just a quick note – wanted to let you know I recently sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Carter, requesting that he publicly outline his plan to make the Department of Defense auditable by 2017, and submit audit results to Congress by 2019 (as required by the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness Plan).
Action needs to be taken. Not only because auditing the DOD will help ensure taxpayer dollars are used in the most efficient, effective means possible, but also because it will create an even stronger national defense, allowing us to better ensure the agency is meeting its core goal of protecting our national security.
Posted by Randy | April 22, 2015
Over the last few weeks, we have heard story after story about China’s provocative actions in the disputed waters of the East and South China Seas. Many of these actions are being taken by China’s Coast Guard, which now outnumbers the coast guards of all of China’s neighbors combined.
Posted by Randy | April 01, 2015
The aircraft carrier remains the most visible and effective instrument of U.S. military power. Building a mixed and technologically-advanced Carrier Air Wing, including unmanned aircraft, is essential to preserving the carrier’s dominance in the decades ahead. I recently authored an Op-Ed in Defense News laying out my vision for unmanned carrier aviation.
Commentary: Where Is Unmanned Carrier Aviation Heading?
Posted by | March 31, 2015
The Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard recently released a new Maritime Strategy. I’ve shared my thoughts on what any successful Maritime Strategy should contain here and recently discussed the subject with USNI News, noting the significant progress made since the last Strategy was released in 2007.
Rep. Forbes: New U.S. Maritime Strategy Revision 'Light Years Ahead' of 2007 Original
By Sam LaGrone
March 30, 2015
The recent revision to the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard’s maritime strategy is ‘light years ahead’ of the 2007 original draft, the chairman of the House Armed Service Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces told USNI News last week.
Two weeks after the rollout of the tri-service plan. Rep Randy Forbes (R-Va.) said he mostly pleased with the content of A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower (CS21).
“I thought the last one wasn’t very strong at all it didn’t have much meat to it. This one is light years ahead of where that strategy was and because of that I think this could be something that could have a lot more shelf life to it,” Forbes said.
“It is certainly something we are looking at and paying attention to with our subcommittee."
In particular, Forbes was pleased the Navy included a component about China.
“They were pretty straightforward talking about the challenge China would pose,” he said.
“That’s something if you leave out of our maritime strategy, it almost becomes worthless.”
However, Forbes would have liked to see more attention on the industrial base and a force structure assessment specifically for the Navy.
“I think one of the things that more and more people are becoming a little bit concerned about is our over all industrial base — what it’s going to look like five years down the road and ten years down the road?” he said.
“I would have liked to have seen them do a laydown about that industrial base is and then some planning on how the maritime strategy will help support that industrial base so we will have it there to provide the ships and repairs we’ll need down the road.”
Forbes has been vocal about a perceived lack of overall U.S. military strategic direction.
“I find the degree to which we as a nation are devoting any real intellectual energy to the subject [of strategy] to be minimal, just as I find that our capacity to devote such energy to be waning,” read a July 28 from Forbes to Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert.
“I write to you because of my sense that an effort to restore strategic thinking in the U.S. government must be started and championed by a strong advocate. I believe the Navy can be that champion and the Chief of Naval Operations can be its chief advocate."
Over the 18-months CS-21 revision process, the Navy shared drafts and asked legislators for their input into the final revision, including Forbes.
“The Navy actually met with us early on in this process, talked to us and said ‘we included some of your suggestions in this maritime strategy’ and in face they have — throughout,” he said.
“Overall they did a very good job with this maritime strategy and it should guide us in many of the decisions we should make over the upcoming months.”
Read the article here.
Posted by Randy | March 27, 2015
Wanted to highlight a bill for you that I recently cosponsored – The Detaining Terrorists to Protect America Act (H.R. 401) – to push back on what I strongly believe is the Administration’s ill-advised approach towards the remaining detainees at GITMO.
What this bill does: This legislation accomplishes several important priorities: 1) suspends international transfers of high and medium risk detainees; 2) prohibits transfers of Guantanamo detainees to Yemen; 3) extends the current prohibition on transfers to the U.S.; and 4) increases transparency regarding risk assessments of the remaining GITMO detainees.
Bottom line: I believe for the Administration to put politics above national security, and personal priorities above the interests of the American people is beyond shortsighted – it is dangerous.
Recently, I joined Neil Cavuto on the Fox News Channel to discuss the President’s recent comment that he should have closed GITMO on his first day in office. Click here to watch if you missed it.
Posted by Randy | March 25, 2015
Defense isn’t just another line in the budget – it is a constitutional duty. The consequences of getting our national defense wrong are far-reaching and, despite what the Administration will say, far more devastating than getting funding for the EPA wrong, or the IRS. The bottom line is if we get national defense wrong, nothing else matters.
Posted by Randy | March 21, 2015
In case you weren’t able to tune in on Thursday, I wanted to pass along the clip of my discussion with Neil Cavuto on Fox News about the President’s comment that he should have closed GITMO on his first day in office. You can watch the exchange here, or by clicking the image below.
I will continue to push back on the Administration’s actions that put politics above national security, and personal priorities above the interests of the American people.
Posted by Randy | March 20, 2015
Recently, I joined my colleagues in sending a letter to the President, calling upon him to direct Secretary of Defense Carter to develop a plan to field a robust, multi-layered homeland ballistic missile defense system capable of defending the U.S. from the full range of ballistic missile threats.This plan is due to be delivered to Congressional Defense Committees by March 31st.
Posted by Randy | March 19, 2015
Real quick – wanted to be sure you had seen this good news. Recently, there was controversy at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia when a complaint was made over Airmen saying "have a blessed day” as part of their greeting to visitors at the security gate entrance. The phrase was not part of official protocol, but rather a traditional southern phrase offered voluntarily by the greeters.
After review, the Air Force reinforced that the phrase is perfectly acceptable under the new AFI 1-1 policy protecting religious freedom. You can read the Robins Air Force Base’s statement on their facebook page, here.
I will keep working to protect the ability of our men and women in uniform to exercise the very freedoms they are fighting for. To stay up to date on these issues, click here to like my Facebook page.
RECENT POSTS05/29/2015 - Question of the Week: Do you believe it is appropriate for the Secretary of Defense to tie national security funding to funding for agencies like the EPA and IRS?
05/28/2015 - Update: Challenging the Presidents Healthcare Law in Federal Court
05/22/2015 - Question of the Week: Do you support H.RES. 45 as a means of cutting down on duplicative government programs?
05/19/2015 - Remember the fallen and honor those who serve
05/18/2015 - Big Government and Big Problems for America
05/15/2015 - Ending NSA bulk data collection