General Dixon, Colonel Moore, distinguished and dedicated members of the Armed Forces, both military and civilian:
I am very grateful, most indebted to you for this very warm and overly generous welcome. And I thank you very, very much.
It is a great thrill for me to be on Langley Air Force Base and to know that we have military and civilian personnel from Fort Monroe, Fort Eustis, as well as from the Navy installations at Norfolk.
All of you make a great team, a great team that makes all of us as civilians secure and able to carry out our responsibilities to make a better America.
All of you do sacrifice, all of you are in the frontline of preserving the peace and and making certain that freedom exists around the world.
I can say without any hesitation or qualification that some 215 million Americans know that we are safer and better because of the competence and the capability, the readiness of all of you who are so important in preserving peace.
Let me simply conclude by saying that Langley Air Force Base has had a long and wonderful history, going back some 60 years. It now performs a very vital function as a part of the Tactical Air Command.
Last fall--or the fall of 1974--I was in Arizona and saw the delivery of the first operational units of the F-16 IF-15]. And I can tell you that that meant a great deal, not only to those who were there in training but to all of us who know that that equipment is vitally important for our national security.
It is the same for any of the other equipment that is used by the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, Marines, or the Coast Guard. We need to make certain and positive that you have the best in hardware so that your capabilities can be utilized to the fullest. And I pledge to you that we will provide the funds in order that you do have the best equipment, that you can perform your job in a military or civilian area for the protection of our great country.
I thank you again for the efforts that you make in the pursuit of peace and the success that you have had in the preservation of freedom.
Thank you very, very much.