In Alabama, we know firsthand how vital the United States military is to defending our freedoms and national security interests, both at home and abroad.  Alabama provides for our strong defense with the Redstone Arsenal and the unmatched space, missile, cyber, and intelligence workforce in Huntsville, tank modernization in Anniston, one of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s core data centers as well as the Air University at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base, the home of Army aviation at Fort Rucker, and world-class combat shipbuilding in Mobile.  Additionally, over 400,000 veterans call Alabama home, which is more than one out of every ten people over the age of 18 in the state.

There is nothing more important than the security of our nation, and this requires the constant support of our men and women in uniform who place themselves in harm's way to defend our freedom.  It is important to main a strong military because the peace and security of the world remains unstable and uncertain.  In light of ongoing conflicts across the globe and the serious threats we face from terrorism and malign actors, our all-volunteer force is as important as ever.  

In addition to maintaining and advancing the readiness, aptitude, and resilience of the United States military, we must similarly support the well-being of American service members and their families, whose welfare is an integral part of the successful defense of our nation.  Congress must remain steadfast in ensuring adequate funding for important defense programs.  Prosperity and security are not mutually exclusive, and if we intend to maintain our way of life, we will need a highly trained, well-equipped, and adequately funded military to protect us. 

As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense, which is primarily responsible for funding the federal government's operations,  I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that we maintain the greatest military in the world while also protecting our men and women in uniform.