Longtime ADC supporter Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and second-term Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) will co-chair a newly formed congressional caucus dedicated to advancing issues facing communities with closed or active installations.
The Defense Community Caucus, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers, will provide a unified voice for the hundreds of communities that host active and closed installations, support those communities in their efforts to assist service members and their families, and raise awareness of the unique issues and challenges facing defense communities. The caucus will serve multiple roles — promoting a dialogue on defense community issues, serving as a liaison between Congress, DOD and the private sector, and advancing legislation to strengthen defense communities.
“Creating the caucus has been a legislative priority for ADC for many years and we are proud to have supported its formation. We look forward to working with the caucus co-chairs to advance the important issues facing America’s defense communities,” said Tim Ford, ADC’s chief executive officer.
Farr and Jenkins, the caucus’ co-chairs in the 112th Congress, both serve districts with deep military roots.
Jenkins’ eastern Kansas district includes a number of installations, several of which are undergoing significant transformation as a result of the 2005 round of base closures. Fort Riley is home once again to the 1st Infantry Division (the Big Red One); while the Army closed the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant in 2008 and is working with the local redevelopment authority to convert the plant into the Great Plains Industrial Park. The district also hosts Fort Leavenworth, home of the Army Command and General Staff College.
“I am honored to be joined by Congressman Sam Farr as a co-chair and founder of the Defense Community Caucus,” Jenkins said in a written statement.
“Kansas has a strong history of working alongside our military installations, and I look forward to sharing some of our best practices with other military communities and learning new strategies so we can all continue to improve our support for soldiers and their families,” she added.
Farr represents California’s Central Coast, an area that includes one major closure, Fort Ord, and two active installations, the Presidio of Monterey/Defense Language Institute and the Naval Postgraduate School.
“Defense communities play a critical role in supporting hundreds of military bases, and millions of military and civilian personnel,” Farr said in a written statement.
The 10-term congressman has championed legislation on behalf of defense communities on multiple occasions in the past. Most recently, he introduced a measure in 2009 that resulted in Congress eliminating the requirement for the military to seek fair market value for BRAC properties.
“I am confident that together we can build strong defense communities that support our national security, as well as the overall well being of the surrounding areas they share,” Farr said.
If you are interested in recruiting your congressperson to join the Defense Community Caucus, please contact Trish Jones, ADC legislative director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.