U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young, along with U.S. Congressman Trey Hollingsworth and U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein were in Crane, Indiana Monday to discuss the future of their nation’s security—a topic close to all four men.
"I’ve worked to promote commonality between the navy and the air force,” Senator Donnelly said. “Our nuclear efforts are primarily a navy and air force effort.”
"I’m intimately familiar with what a dangerous time this is, from North Korea to Iran, and beyond,” Senator Young said.
"One of the things I hear when I talk to Hoosiers in the ninth [district] is their feeling that the world seems more and more dangerous,” Congressman Hollingsworth said.
"It’s extremely important that we as a nation have a safe, secure, reliable nuclear deterrent,” General Goldfein said.
For decades the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane has been a key equipment provider to naval operations, and has ramped up the development of Air Force weapon systems with one emphasis on electronic warfare.
That branch's highest ranking officer says sustaining that relationship is vital now more than ever as the Navy and Air Force are primarily responsible for the country's nuclear deterrent.
"These are uncertain times. And the work that's going here at crane is absolutely essential to our future,” General Goldfein said.
The officials say Crane just completed one of the biggest years in its history with employees working tirelessly. General Goldfein says that hard work will continue with continued Air Force presence.
He says he’s also depending on congress to pass a budget to provide the funds he says are needed for the nation’s defense/
"It’s time to actually re-capitalize and modernize the nuclear enterprise,” he said.
When asked about president Donald trump's tweet threatening Kim Jong-un with a “bigger, and more powerful” nuclear button, General Goldfein declined to comment, but said the relationship with the president is of upmost importance.
"On our worst day as a nation, our job is to assure the commander in chief is where he needs to be, when he needs to be there, and he stays connected, reliable to nuclear forces in the field.”
(This story was originally published on Jan. 8, 2017)
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