Congressman Forbes’ highest priority has been and will continue to protect and defend the United States of America. As the Ranking Member of the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Forbes is committed to ensuring our military is the best-trained, best-equipped, most capable, and most strategically-minded military in the world. Congressman Forbes has been awarded the highest civilian honors from the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army – the Distinguished Public Service Award and the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, respectively – for his work on behalf of our men and women in uniform.
Working for Excellence at Fourth District Military Installations
Virginia’s Fourth Congressional District is home to many military institutions including Fort Lee (Army), United States Joint Forces Command (Joint), Fort Pickett (Army National Guard), Fentress Auxiliary Landing Field (Navy), Defense Supply Center Richmond (Joint) and NSA Northwest Annex (Navy). Residents of the Fourth District are also impacted by and contribute to operations at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Oceana Naval Air Station, Navy Regional Medical Center, and Langley Air Force Base. Congressman Forbes has worked tirelessly to strengthen the military communities that are critical to the national security of our country and that sustain and build economic growth in our area.
Keeping Terrorists Off American Soil.
Congressman Forbes believes that we need to keep terrorists off of American soil, not fight to get them here. He has introduced legislation that would prohibit the transfer for detainees to Virginia. In addition, Congressman Forbes offered a motion during debate of this year's annual defense bill on the floor of the House of Representatives to prevent the transfer of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to the U.S. As a result of Congressman Forbes' efforts, the motion was adopted by the House by a vote of 282 to 131, and passed as a part of the National Defense Authorization Act.
Championing Strong Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Industries
In his roles as Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee and as Chairman of the Navy Marine Corps Caucus, Congressman Forbes has worked to strengthen the shipbuilding and ship repair industry – a critical component of the Hampton Roads economy. He has been a key voice in Congress calling for a robust shipbuilding plan and he has actively supported measures to build the overall health of ship building, and repair industries. His work led to securing approval to improve access to Norfolk Naval Shipyard for thousands of workers, and he solely led the effort to increase ship maintenance accounts by $120 million. He also championed increasing the production of Virginia Class Submarines, which will now be produced at a rate of two per year a year earlier than the Navy planned.
Bringing Jobs to the Fourth District through Modeling & Simulation
Congressman Forbes was at the front-end of championing job growth in Hampton Roads through the expansion of the modeling and simulation industry which has brought 4,500 jobs with averaging salaries of $83,000 and an economic output of $365 million to Hampton Roads just in 2007. Congressman Forbes founded the Congressional Modeling & Simulation Caucus in Congress and has worked to bring national attention to the vast potential of M&S application in the fields of health care, homeland security, engineering, construction, and defense. Additionally, Congressman Forbes secured funding for the expansion of modeling and simulation activities at the Virginia Modeling Analysis and Simulation Center.
Advancing Cooperation in Our Military and Our Federal Government
Through jointness America’s military can achieve greater efficiencies, better communication, and better intelligence and information. Congressman Forbes has introduced legislation that would establish a commission to reorganize the communications and logistics structures of our federal government not only to reduce the likelihood of terrorist attacks such as 9/11, but to ensure better federal government response to natural disaster and national security issues.
Addressing Weaknesses at Our Ports and Borders
Our ports and borders are primary to the national security of our nation. Congressman Forbes has supported legislation that would construct a fence along our southern border, tighten security at all borders, and place more national security technology at our ports of entry.
Supporting Our Military Families
The strength of our military is a direct function of the strength of our military families – whether they are active duty, guard, or reserve. Congressman Forbes has been a champion for military families by supporting military pay raises, improvements in active duty health care and education, and programs that ease transitional hardships for our military families. Most recently, Congressman Forbes supported the construction of a new child development center at Fort Lee as well as $600 million in new barracks for our Army soldiers and Marines in response to degraded conditions.
Expanding Fort Lee through BRAC
Congressman Forbes, with the assistance of his Fort Lee Advisory Board and elected officials in the Tri-Cities region, effectively worked to position Fort Lee to nearly double in size through the latest Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process and to protect the work of the Defense Supply Center Richmond. The gain at Fort Lee includes over 11,000 new jobs coming to the area– of which over 4,000 are indirect non-governmental base support and service industry jobs. Fort Lee, once targeted for closure through the BRAC process, was one of the largest gainers in the last BRAC round and the federal government is now in the process of investing over $400 million dollars in the region. Congressman Forbes has actively worked to ensure the federal government is funding military construction projects at Fort Lee. The expansion is projected to bring $200 million in additional tax revenue to the surrounding localities through 2013. Congressman Forbes has also supported the local communities impacted by BRAC by supporting outreach programs to help local businesses win defense contracts, securing transportation funding for new roads, and leading efforts to accelerate federal education assistance for local school districts impacted by military children.