By Whitney Vickers
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Ensuring the United States’s war-fighting technology is ahead of adversaries remains a challenge for varying reasons, according to Congressman Mike Turner.
Turner along with Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D), toured Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Wednesday for a briefing on base operations and national security.
The pair highlighted details of their tour in a press conference that followed. Turner said it gave them the opportunity to assess what adversaries are up to, speak about developing systems that would correspond to that technology and gain an understanding related to ensuring this nation’s technology is ahead and able to counter threats.
“Her work in California mirrors the work we have at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and a lot of it is about the battlefield of tomorrow – what do our war fighters need in the future? What are our adversaries developing and how do we bring technology to bear?” Turner said.
In addition to their duties as members of congress, Turner serves as the chairman of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the House of Armed Services Committee, while Sanchez, who represents district 46 in California, serves as a ranking member of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.
“With every person we have at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in China and Russia, there are other people who are trying to both defeat their systems and design systems that then could be proliferated that other people could buy and acquire and invade,” Turner said.
Cyber technology continues to be a focus. Sanchez highlighted the importance of keeping the technology moving forward and keeping resources available for such because “the Cyber attack we saw yesterday is not going to be the same one we see today,” she said.
“Finding the people who will be on our team to help us solve these issues is also a critical issue we are up against,” Sanchez said. “The government sometimes doesn’t pay that much and so getting the top talent we need has been a challenge.”
Sanchez also highlighted the dedication she saw at Wright-Patterson during her visit, saying that it is seen within the work they are producing. Both Turner and Sanchez underlined what has been learned since the 9/11 attack, and the importance of citizens being vigilant.
“The front line is every American,” Sanchez said. “Go out and live your lives — that’s what makes us Americans, we go out and live our lives — but do recognize that you’re part in the help we receive. Since 9/11, there’s been many attempts, but so many of them have not been carried through because of the work we’re doing, not just here, but in our Department of Homeland Security. I feel very enthusiastic about moving forward and keeping America safe, even as 9/11 comes around.”