Ken Calvert: Champion of soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen, and guardians [Opinion]
It has been 28 years since Ken Calvert was elected to the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., to represent the 42nd Congressional District.
Before his election he had been a 17-year businessman, chamber of commerce member, YMCA contributor and President of the Lincoln Club in the city of Riverside. The Corona resident has been a fiscal conservative and has always looked out for the military, its installations, and our Veterans.
He has been the “go-to guy“ for all things March Air Force Base and later March Air Reserve Base. Working with his friend and colleague, former Congressman Jerry Lewis, he helped prevent the closure of the Naval Weapons facility in Norco. That saved thousand of defense civilian jobs and supported the fleet.
As the Global War on Terror ramped up, March Air Reserve Base would play a key role in the mobilization and deployment of Marines from Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms.
Calvert kept close tabs on the needs of our military and made sure new C-17 Globemaster aircraft were assigned to the Air Force Reserve at March. Deployment facilities were World War II relics and Congressman Calvert made sure a state-of-the-art deployment center went in to support the Marines.
When the National Guard needed new facilities to meet the new threat, Calvert insisted the Army Guard and Army Reserves worked together to have a joint-use facility. The Lieutenant General Herbert R. Temple Readiness Center and the Army Reserve facility are connected by a common defense perimeter and share essential facilities.
Today, Ken Calvert is the Ranking Member of the Defense Appropriations Committee in Congress. It is fair to say that his DNA is all over Defense Appropriations.
Defense Appropriations and its members are tasked with funding all but a hand full of military spending. With the Global War on Terror about to commemorate its 20th year, our equipment is wearing out.
Ken Calvert has done his best to replace or upgrade just about every major platform in the military. Former President Trump promised “to rebuild our military“ and Calvert helped keep that promise.
California is home to more military personnel than any other state. The salaries for our troops bring billions to both the state and local economy. The defense industry creates hundreds of thousands of direct jobs in the civilian workforce.
Ken Calvert isn’t just about our National Defense. With his seniority, he is a precious resource to the children, women, and men of his district.
He has always welcomed local elected officials to his Capitol Hill office in Washington, D.C. , and helped them find solutions on transportation, Veterans’ services, forest management, water and natural resources, and more.
Calvert makes no apologies for his fiscal conservatism. He has always worked in bipartisan ways to help out his home state and district.
He speaks with healthy respect for Sen. Dianne Feinstein and has worked with her to get things done for California. While Feinstein and Calvert don’t always agree on policy they work together for California and the country. It’s something we need more of and not less.
While Americans are transitioning to President Joe Biden, moderates and conservatives in the “Red Party” are adjusting to a complete change in policies and priorities from a new administration.
The “Blue Party” had a tough election cycle in 2020 and if political history repeats itself, it is possible Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield will be Speaker of the House and Ken Calvert will be Chairman of Defense Appropriations.
In this session of Congress expect Ken Calvert to also focus on water resources, common sense energy and environmental policy, job creation and retention, solutions for the administration of Coronavirus vaccination, and helping fellow members of the California Congressional delegation as “Dean” or the longest-serving Californian in the Republican Party.
While Ken Calvert may not be a household name with our troops in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, or Coast Guard our Defense Department is better trained, equipped, and funded because of his efforts. America is safer and stronger today, thanks in part to Ken Calvert, and because our men and women continue to serve in our Guard, Reserve, and Active military.
Editor’s note: The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of Uken Report.
- Ken Calvert: Ken Calvert Official Photo