Senator Collins Delivers Remarks at Ribbon Cutting for new Army Aviation Readiness Center in Bangor

     BANGOR, ME—U.S. Senator Susan Collins delivered remarks at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the new Army Aviation Readiness Center in Bangor this morning.  As a senior member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins strongly advocated for $14.4 million in the President’s 2012 budget for the construction of this important new facility. 

    “This new center will enhance the professionalism the Maine Army National Guard is already well known for. Just as important, it is an investment that confirms the high regard, respect, and gratitude America has for the men and women who carry out difficult and dangerous missions on our behalf,” said Senator Collins.  "The conflicts of the 21st Century and the evolution of our armed forces during that time have underscored one essential truth:  given the proper resources, the training and equipment, the Army National Guard can meet any challenge and carry out any mission, whether here at home or overseas."

      Lieutenant General Timothy J. Kadavy, the Director of the Army National Guard, attended today's readiness center opening. In October, Senator Collins met with General Kadavy in Washington to discuss the great work being done by members of Maine’s Army National Guard, both in our state and around the world. During the meeting, Senator Collins invited General Kadavy to Maine. 

See below for a copy of Senator Collins remarks as prepared for delivery:

      Thank you, Major Dumont.  Distinguished guests, and friends, it is a pleasure to join you for this celebration.  General Kadavy, General Bolduc, men and women of the Maine Army National Guard, the people of America are grateful for your service.

      I especially want to welcome General Kadavy, the Director of the Army National Guard.  When we met in  my Washington office, we discussed the vital role played by our Guard, and I told him how proud I was of the contributions of the Maine National Guard.  I invited him to visit Maine, and I am delighted that he accepted my invitation.

      The history of our nation is written in large part by our citizen soldiers, the men and women who set aside the comforts of civilian life when duty calls. Through nearly two centuries of exceptional service, the Maine Army National Guard has earned an honored place in this history.  When duty calls, the citizen soldiers of Maine answer willingly and courageously.

      One constant principle that is critical to the effectiveness of the Guard is readiness.  Threats evolve and missions grow ever more complex, but the Army National Guard remains dedicated to meeting every challenge.   This commitment to being ready, trained, and equipped runs from the highest levels of leadership through the ranks.

      Our nation has an obligation to support that commitment, and that is what brings us here today.  As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I strongly advocated for $14.4 million in the President’s 2012 budget for the construction of this important new facility.  That was four years ago, and today it is exciting to see the results of this much-needed funding.

      The units that train here are assigned crucial missions of medical evacuation, air assault, security and support, and search and rescue.  Whether in combat zones overseas or in response to disasters here at home, the men and women who train here will be better prepared to defend freedom and to save lives.

      This new center will enhance the professionalism the Maine Army National Guard is already known for. Just as important, it is an investment that confirms the high regard, respect, and gratitude  America has for the men and women who carry out difficult and dangerous missions on our behalf.

      The conflicts of the 21st Century and the evolution of our armed forces during that time have underscored one essential truth:   the  National Guard can meet any challenge and carry out any mission.  Thank you all for your service, and congratulations on your accomplishments.