WASHINGTON, DC – March 18, 2015 – The House Air Force Caucus has announced its bipartisan leadership team for the 114th Congress.
The Air Force Caucus co-chairs are: Congressman Michael R. Turner (R-OH), Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX), Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) and Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA). The Caucus currently has more than 70 members.
The Air Force Caucus seeks to educate other Members of Congress on the Air Force’s role in national defense and raise pertinent issues related to Air Force manpower, capabilities, and missions. The Caucus hosts events throughout the year with Air Force leaders, and holds discussions with members and staff about current issues affecting the Air Force and ways to shape policies that enhance the Air Force’s ability to carry out its role protecting American national security interests.
Below please find short bios and statements from each co-chair:
Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH) is the Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces and represents both the City of Dayton and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Congress. With roughly 27,000 people working on or stationed at the base, Wright-Patterson is the largest single-site employer in the state and is one of the largest Air Force installations in the world.
“It’s an honor to continue to serve as a co-chair of the Air Force Caucus,” said Congressman Turner. “This bipartisan and bicameral forum provides an opportunity to directly engage the perspectives of the leaders of our Air Force and discuss the issues that are most important to our airmen. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Rep. Tsongas, Rep. Johnson, and Rep. Bordallo to make certain that our airmen at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and around the world have the support and tools that they need to carry out their missions and maintain our technical superiority in the air.”
Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX), a decorated war hero and native Texan, ranks among the few Members of Congress to have fought in combat. During his 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force, Sam flew combat missions in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. After his service in the Korean War, Sam served as director of the Air Force Fighter Weapons School and also flew the F-100 Super Sabre with the elite Air Force Thunderbirds. It was during his 25th combat mission in Vietnam that Sam was shot down and taken to the infamous Hanoi Hilton as a POW. He endured nearly seven years as a POW, including 42 months in solitary confinement with ten other "diehard" POWs, self-named the Alcatraz Gang. While in the Hanoi Hilton, Sam and his POW buddies decided that when they got out that they would stop griping about the government's problems and start fixing it. As the Representative for Texas' 3rd District, Sam upholds constitutional conservative values and actively supports America's servicemen and women - both active duty and veterans.
"It is an honor to serve as co-chair of this important Air Force Caucus,” said Congressman Johnson. “Our airmen bravely serve Our Great Nation in a unique capacity, and it is important that Congress understands and meets the needs of our Air Force so that our airmen are able to effectively do their jobs and protect our Homeland. I look forward to a productive year supporting our airmen - they selflessly serve us all on a daily basis."
Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) represents the U.S. Territory of Guam and is the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness. As Guam’s Delegate to Congress, Bordallo represents the western most territory of the United States. Guam is home Andersen Air Force Base, which provides the U.S. Air Force with a forward presence in the Asia-Pacific region and is critical to supporting U.S. operations and our allies in the region. Ms. Bordallo has previously served as a co-chair of the Air Force Caucus during the 113th Congress.
“I am proud to continue to serve as a co-chair of the Air Force Caucus for the 114th Congress,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. “The Caucus has been critical to better educating members of Congress of the important role our Air Force plays in our national security and the unique capabilities it provides our nation to deter and address a broad range of contingencies around the world. As Guam’s representative in Congress and member of the House Armed Services Committee, I have a deep appreciation of the many sacrifices our airmen, and all servicemembers, make to keep our country safe. Guam is home to Andersen Air Force Base, home of the 36th Wing, and host to the Continuous Bomber Presence which is critical to air projection in the Asia-Pacific region. I am glad to have Congresswoman Tsongas as my other Democratic co-chair, along with Congressmen Turner and Johnson as our Republican co-chairs. I look forward to continuing to support our Air Force during the 114th Congress and providing them with the tools and resources they need to fulfill their missions.”
Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA), whose father was an Air Force Colonel who survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor, grew up on Air Force bases around the world. She is also currently a member of the Air Force Academy’s Board of Visitors. Hanscom Air Force Base, one of the U.S. military’s premier acquisition management facilities,is located in Massachusetts. Tsongas also serves as co-chair of the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus.
“I am honored to serve as a co-chair of the bipartisan Air Force Caucus and I look forward to using this position to work with both the Air Force and my colleagues in Congress to find the best policies to support the men and women serving in the U.S. Air Force,” said Congresswoman Tsongas. “Massachusetts is home to the only active duty Air Force base in New England, Hanscom Air Force Base, and I have developed a strong appreciation for the vital work done there. I also have seen firsthand how the Air Force has been able to capitalize on the high-tech cluster of academia and industry in Massachusetts. This peerless intellectual ecosystem has proven essential to enhance our nation’s security and ensure that the United States Air Force remains second to none. I look forward to drawing from the great work being done in Massachusetts as the Caucus works to best meet the needs of our Air Force. I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve in this leadership role and look forward to working with Congressman Turner, Congressman Johnson and Congresswoman Bordallo.”