Senator Reverend Warnock spoke at the Association for Defense Communities National Summit where he discussed his work in the Senate to build strong investments in Georgia’s base communities
Senator Reverend Warnock championed, successfully secured significant federal funding for critical military infrastructure priorities at Georgia’s Moody Air Force Base, Fort Stewart, and Fort Gordon
Senator Reverend Warnock has secured wins for Georgia’s military bases in the NDAA, the recently passed government funding bill, and the bipartisan infrastructure package
Senator Reverend Warnock: “When we talk about supporting our defense communities, we are also talking about the communities that surround these bases, they are part of the ecosystem”
Senator Reverend Warnock: “We have to make sure our base housing is up to par, which is why I’ve been addressing this issue through our housing allowances for folks in the military. We have to make sure spouses can be employed and make a livable wage. All of these things are part of building the kind of infrastructure in a larger sense of the word that is helpful for our national security and maintaining the morale of our troops”
Washington, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) joined a panel at the Association for Defense Communities where he discussed his work to secure strong investments in Georgia’s base communities. Senator Reverend Warnock is a fierce advocate for Georgia’s military bases, surrounding communities, servicemembers and their families, and veterans.
At the Association for Defense Communities, Senator Reverend Warnock was joined by Paul D. Cramer, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, who is currently performing the duties of Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. Senator Warnock and Mr. Cramer answered questions from Diane Rath, the CEO of the Alamo Area Council of Governments. Senator Warnock also congratulated Centerville, GA resident Dr. Ivan Allen on being named a Defense Community Champion for his work with the Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center, which provides wraparound services including training and education for veterans and their families as they transition from military service.
See below for highlights from Senator Warnock’s remarks:
“This is a critical moment. Russia’s unprovoked aggression in Ukraine cannot be tolerated. We have to address it. And this is just an example the ways in which we depend on our servicemen and women. They just show up. I am so proud of our soldiers at Fort Stewart and all across Georgia. I talked to MG Costanza last week and we have almost 4500 Georgia-based military personnel who have made their way. We are grateful for them. And we have to make sure they have everything they need.
“When we talk about supporting our defense communities we are also talking about the communities that surround these bases, they are part of the ecosystem. We were focused on passing the bipartisan infrastructure bill. We have been talking about infrastructure for a long time. This is the largest infrastructure we’ve seen in at least a generation. For me, infrastructure is about highways and roads and rails and ports. It’s about all of them. It’s about broadband because broadband is to the 21st century what electricity was to the 20th century. So if we are talking about deploying troops to Europe or just working farmers across Georgia, rallying those communities, we’ve got to strengthen our infrastructure. And larger than that it is about the spirit of us, it’s about the home we share together. Broken infrastructure in a way is a reflection of the brokenness of politics. Brokenness in spirit. We’ve got to come together to support the house we live in.
“In addition to supporting military bases, we have to support our larger infrastructure, roads, ports, highways, broadband. The bipartisan infrastructure bill is important to move in that direction.
“In addition to that, just making sure our military families have what they need. I mean you think about folks getting deployed all of a sudden. A few weeks ago they didn’t know they were going to Europe and then they’ve got to go. What does that mean for the kids in the house, the arrangements that have to be made, spouses left behind? We have to make sure our base housing is up to par, which is why I’ve been addressing this issue through our housing allowances for folks in the military. We have to make sure spouses can be employed and make a livable wage. All of these things are part of building the kind of infrastructure in a larger sense of the word that is helpful for our national security and maintaining the morale of our troops.”
In the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY2022) appropriation bills, which passed last week, Senator Reverend Warnock secured $12.5 million for a new helicopter apron at Valdosta’s Moody Air Force Base; $5 million for military housing at Hinesville’s Fort Stewart, and $3.67 million for cyber infrastructure at Augusta’s Fort Gordon. This funding represents only part of the more than $95 million in direct funding for Georgia projects that Senator Reverend Warnock secured in the FY2022 government funding bill.
This past year’s NDAA featured almost $320 million in authorized military construction funding for Georgia, as well as the language Senator Warnock championed which pushed the DoD to examine their methodology for determining the basic allowance for housing for servicemembers. He also successfully included a bipartisan provision the FY22 NDAA to direct the DoD to collect important data related to military spouse employment and challenges they face. He also led a letter to the Department of Defense related to the need to conduct continued oversight of privatized housing companies.
Senator Reverend Warnock teamed up with Texas Senator Ted Cruz to create a high priority I-14 corridor linking key Georgia military installations in the bipartisan jobs and infrastructure bill.
Senator Reverend Warnock introduced bipartisan legislation that will improve understanding of the DoD’s food procurement policies, bolstering efforts to facilitate relationships between local farmers and military installations. Additionally, Senator Warnock helped introduce a bill that will improve access to federal nutrition assistance for military members and make sure servicemembers and their families have more than enough food on the table.