WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, welcomes a crucial provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report, which will keep the MC-12 surveillance aircraft program in the Air Force and at Beale Air Force Base. The Conference Committee Report, which constitutes compromise legislation between the Senate and House versions of the NDAA, rejected a Senate proposal to transfer the MC-12 program to the Army. This legislative victory follows a letter that Garamendi sent last week to the Congressional Armed Services Conference Committee, urging them to follow the Department of Defense’s recommendation and maintain the program with the Air Force.
Congressman Garamendi’s letter comes after an earlier successful effort led by Garamendi and other Congressional representatives in California to locate the mission at Beale Air Force Base. Congressman Garamendi also joined Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Congressman Wally Herger, and other Members of Congress this week in a bipartisan bicameral letter expressing support for keeping the MC-12 program in the Air Force.
"I commend NDAA conferees for arriving at the commonsense conclusion that we should avoid costly disruptions and keep the MC-12 program where it’s already working – with the Air Force," said Congressman John Garamendi.
"The missions at Travis and Beale Air Force Base are essential for maintaining a smart 21st century military that is highly mobile and equipped with the very best intelligence," Garamendi added. "The men and women at Travis and Beale are top flight. I am committed to the future success of these missions, which bolster our regional economy and are critical to our country’s national security."
Congressman Garamendi’s complete letter to the Conference Committee is included below.
Dear Chairmen Levin and McKeon and Ranking Members McCain and Smith:
As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I urge you to omit from the conference report on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA) any provision that removes the MC-12W Liberty aircraft from the Air Force. Any such provision, such as the one included in the Senate version of the NDAA that would transfer the MC-12W to the Army, would directly contradict a joint-recommendation made by Air Force Secretary Donley and Army Secretary McHugh that the MC-12W remain within the Air Force. As the Secretaries point out in the enclosed letter, the MC-12W is a proven intelligence system that is relied upon daily to identify, track and locate terrorists, and that transferring the MC-12W would be disruptive to ongoing operations. Thus, ceasing to maintain the MC-12 within the Air Force would undermine intelligence collection and our national security.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and your continued work to ensure a strong national defense.
Member of Congress