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Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, delivered the following opening statement at the subcommittee markup for H.R. 4350 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022. The Subcommittee’s mark is available here.
Rep. Hartzler’s remarks as prepared for delivery:

I want to thank you for your leadership and collaboration in building this mark in a very open and bipartisan manner that continues the long-standing tradition of this subcommittee.

I’d also like to express my gratitude to the subcommittee staff, including Bill Sutey, Heath Bope, Carla Zeppieri, Liz Griffin, Caroline Kehrli, and Kelly Repair, for their support and hard work throughout this process. We have a truly dedicated, bi-partisan staff.

I want to second the Chairman’s sentiments in thanking all of our colleagues on the subcommittee for their active participation and valuable input that directly informed this year’s subcommittee Mark.
Our goal with this mark was to build off the framework we had previously set over the last several years, continuing to ensure force readiness while facilitating modernization programs consistent with the objectives of the National Defense Strategy, and necessary to compete with, deter, and win against peer challengers and adversaries.  

I am particularly pleased with how this mark continues critical oversight of the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps’ strike-fighter force structure and inventory management. 

This mark sets better conditions for ensuring the right mix of 4th and 5th generation fighters, managing operational risk, and specifically for mitigating shortfalls in the Navy Strike Fighter inventory. 

I’m also pleased this mark facilitates stronger oversight to ensure current airborne ISR capability and capacity are maintained to mitigate near-term operational risk and prevent future capability gaps.

Lastly, this mark, through oversight, highlights the subcommittee’s continued priority of maintaining stability, improving safety, and facilitating critical infrastructure modernization projects within our defense industrial base and supply chains.  

Following a year of unprecedented challenges, I continue to be impressed and encouraged by the resilience of our military and the critical industrial base that supports it. This mark is a good step towards fully restoring the dedicated industrial workforce to safe and efficient operations.

In summary, this is a comprehensive and effectual mark that provides appropriate levels of oversight on the major programs in our jurisdiction while also supporting the critical capabilities needed by our warfighters to maintain credible deterrence and to fight and win decisively in any situation. 

I encourage everyone’s support and yield back. 

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