Pays Tribute to Base Personnel and Recognizes Armed Forces Day
LEXINGTON PARK, MD - Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) yesterday afternoon joined the Navy Alliance, the Patuxent Partnership and the St. Mary's Chamber of Commerce in St. Mary's County to discuss the Department of Defense's BRAC recommendations that were released on Friday. The Pentagon recommended that the Patuxent River Naval Air Station gain approximately 100 new personnel and overall the state of Maryland could gain more than 9,000 new jobs as a result of the recommendations. Hoyer also recognized Armed Forces Day which is observed Saturday, May 21.
"Through the work of so many in this room: county and state officials both past and present, and committed business and community leaders, we came out very well," said Hoyer. "We've had a great success because we've worked together as a team, but also because what we do is critically important to ensure that our military is prepared for our nation's national security needs in the 21st Century.
"Since 1992, I have worked to make clear the vital role Southern Maryland's military installations play in keeping our homeland safe and secure. Last week, it became clear that we made our case.
"Because of the tremendously talented people on our bases, and because the private business and contractor communities do so well, it is an easy sell to leaders at the Pentagon that our installations are at technology's cutting edge and are vital national security assets. It is particularly appropriate that we pay special tribute to these dedicated men and women as we celebrate Armed Forces Day," Hoyer added.
The first Armed Service Day was celebrated by President Truman in 1950 and marked the recent unification of the military branches of the Armed Forces under a single governmental department, the Department of Defense. President Truman observed that the day "marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality."
"This is the culmination of 10 years of a community effort," said Delegate John Bohanan. "I always enjoy working as a team - working together for the good of the community, and our community is probably as good as any in the country at focusing on and supporting our installations."
"There is no issue that I've worked on harder and more regularly than the issue of protecting, strengthening and enhancing our missions on these bases," added Hoyer. "We ought not to delude ourselves that we are now in the clear. We are going to stay very active and continue to work to make our case to the BRAC Commission and beyond. This effort takes our focus 7 days a week and I want to urge all of us over the next few days to stay alert and see how things develop.
"Ultimately, I wanted to bring everyone together to say thank you for the tremendous team effort that Southern Maryland has demonstrated for so many years, and for your efforts to ensure that Southern Maryland's military installations will continue to keep the region's economy strong and improve and strengthen our national security," Hoyer concluded.