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 world-class space, missile, cyber, and intelligence workforce in Huntsville, tank modernization in Anniston, the Air Force’s Air University at Maxwell-Gunter, the home of Army aviation at Fort Rucker, and world-class combat shipbuilding in Mobile.  Additionally, there are over 400,000 veterans who call Alabama home, which is more than one out of every ten people over the age of 18 in the state.

Though our country faces a constrained budget environment, 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 properly funded military to protect us.

As Americans, we must always support our men and women in uniform.  There is nothing more important than the security of our nation and the well-being of the courageous men and women of the American military who place themselves in harm’s way to defend our freedom.

It is important to maintain a strong military because the peace and security of our world remains as uncertain as ever.  In light of the ongoing conflicts across the globe and the serious threat of terrorism at home and abroad, it is vital that we maintain and advance the readiness, aptitude, and resilience of the United States military.

As Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, 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.