Sunday, June 24, 2018

Bill Crawford: Standing Up for Our Military Assets

"The defense authorization act is one of the most consequential bills that Congress considers each year," wrote Sen. Roger Wicker in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. "I championed several provisions in this year’s bill to advance our defense strategy and support the role that Mississippi plays in our national defense."


Mississippi bases, guard and reserve units, and defense industries do play important roles in our national defense. These military assets also provide good jobs. Having champions in Washington is absolutely critical to their survival. Mississippi voters should consider this in upcoming elections.

In the 1991, 1993, 1995, and 2005 BRAC rounds, the base closure process, the late Congressman G. V. "Sonny" Montgomery, former Senators Thad Cochran and Trent Lott, former Congressman Gene Taylor and then Congressman Roger Wicker played significant roles in protecting Mississippi assets. More importantly, they continually supported missions, acquisitions, and physical improvements to keep these assets topnotch. Their influence on their respective chamber's armed services and appropriations committees was invaluable.



One only has to observe the historic Maine vs. Mississippi political infighting over new Navy contracts at Bath Iron Works (now owned by General Dynamics) and Ingalls Shipbuilding (now owned by Huntington-Ingalls) to understand the importance of strong, effective congressional support. The same holds true for the many other defense industries scattered around the state.

Wicker, as chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, played a key leadership role last year in getting Congress to authorize a multi-year expansion of the Navy's fleet to 355 ships. This will be a boon to both Mississippi and Maine in the coming years, e.g. the Navy hopes to build 10 new destroyers between the two facilities over the next four years.

With Cochran's retirement this year and 2nd District Congressman Bennie Thompson's tendency to cut defense spending, Wicker will be the key player on protecting and growing Mississippi military assets until other congressional leaders can emerge. 4th District Congressman Steven Palazzo is in his 7th year as a member of the House Armed Services Committee with key subcommittee assignments. 1st District Congressman Trent Kelly just completed his 3rd year on the same committee with good subcommittee assignments. New Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has a key position on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The 3rd District will have a brand new Congressman. Of the two Republicans in the runoff plus the Democratic and Reform nominees, only Whit Hughes has experience with protecting and growing military assets. As Deputy Director at MDA he facilitated the Mississippi Military Communities Council and worked on defense industry recruitment and expansion.

Neither of Hyde-Smith's major challengers in the November special election to fill Cochran's seat appears to stack up well regarding military assets. Former Congressman and Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy thinks Mississippi shipyards still produce nuclear vessels (https://espyforsenate.com/statement/); they don't. State Sen. Chris McDaniel voted "present" on the bond bill in 2017 that increased funds for projects designed to protect Mississippi bases from closure. He voted against a similar bill for Columbus AFB in 2016.

Wicker is right to highlight Mississippi’s important role in national defense. Electing champions who will fight to protect and grow our military assets will not only sustain that role but also provide good jobs to many Mississippians.

Crawford (crawfolk@gmail.com) is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

GO ROGER - Ain't never done a damned thing but run that mouth at election time. And now he slides into second base for another six RINO years.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord. A special section of totally blown smoke. A BILLION dollars invested and next to nothing to show for it.

Anonymous said...

As a veteran of the MS National Guard and the regular US Army, WHY do we still spend this much on the military? Let's cut every damn social safety-net known to America, but keep pouring money into the black-hole that is the DOD.

Anonymous said...

I really get ill at my stomach when elected officials brag about saving a particular military base or military project that the military says they don't need. RINOs like Wicker are why we spend double what we need to on defense.

Cynical Sam said...

Keep feeding that military industrial complex, whose contractors keep feeding the political coffers. Quid pro quo.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi is the most entitled state in the nation and the conservative political leaders are thankful that they can paint their entitlements with Red-White & Blue and hide the welfare checks they bring home to the state's wealthy leaders behind the flag. Our leaders are just shuck and jive hustlers taking money from the states they condemn as being filled with Communist Unionists with the taxes they declare are unfair.

Anonymous said...

Never heard a military veteran post like 11:16 did. Well, except for one like John Kerry. So, the poster is either an extreme liberal pecker-head or pretending to be a veteran.

Anonymous said...

Roger Wicker. Just another cotton snob of old managing affairs tied to the Oxford plantation when he can. Otherwise, a no talent BS artist.

Anonymous said...

4:28 AM My vote is "poser."

Anonymous said...

Or 4:28, 9:23 you've never been outside 200 mile radius of Mississippi and can' t compute the fact that 1/3 of veterans are Democrats. Travel more. Expand your horizons.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/118684/military-veterans-ages-tend-republican.aspx

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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