WASHINGTON - Congressman Steny Hoyer released the following statement after meeting with some of the top officials at the Department of Defense. This is another in a continued series of visits Congressman Hoyer has made to the Pentagon to meet with officials to discuss the military installations he represents within the past year. Hoyer has conducted these meetings to educate Pentagon decision makers on the important work conducted at Pax River, Indian Head and St. Inigoes and to talk with them about specific issues of concern to our military installations.
"Over the past several years, I have met with many of the leading decision makers at the Pentagon and am grateful for their willingness to discuss the unique military and homeland security capabilities of Pax River, Indian Head and St. Inigoes.
"I value these meetings, as part of my longstanding and ongoing efforts to educate our nation's military leaders about the exciting work being done at Southern Maryland's defense installations and they provide me with an effective opportunity to make clear the vital role they play in keeping our homeland safe and secure.
"In addition to taking this opportunity to discuss important issues on each of our bases, we have discussed the changing force structure needed at the Department of Defense in the 21st Century to ensure that our fighting force remains the most advanced in the world. And, I have relayed to the officials with whom I've met how the three military installations in Southern Maryland absolutely meet this need. These three bases serve more than one branch of the military and maximize military effectiveness.
"In fact, earlier this year, the Congress recognized the impressive capabilities of these installations by funding a high number and wide variety of projects that will capitalize on the advanced and innovative talents at work at Pax River, St. Inigoes and Indian Head. The continued commitment in funding to Southern Maryland's Navy installations is a clear expression of the critical role they play in helping our nation meet the threats and challenges of a new century, and acknowledge that an investment in these bases makes wise use of scarce taxpayer dollars.
"I look forward to continuing these meetings with key decision makers at the Pentagon so that there is no doubt in the mind of the Defense Department that these valuable bases serve an important role in securing our nation and provide unmatched and advanced technical expertise for our military."
Today, Congressman Hoyer met with the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Nathman, the second most senior military officer in the Navy. Mr. Hoyer also met with Wayne Arny, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Installations and Environment, who is responsible to the Assistant Secretary, H.T. Johnson.