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Rubio Campaign Press Release - Read This Nevada Marine Corps Vet's Take on Why Marco Rubio Is His Pick

February 21, 2016

A-10C Thunderbolt IIs taxi down down the runway during Exercise Red Flag 12-4 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. The A-10s are assigned to Moody AFB, and the base's 23rd Wing is the lead wing for Red Flag this year and has more than 200 people deployed to Nellis AFB to support the air combat readiness exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

Nevada State Assemblyman Derek Armstrong is a Marine Corps Staff Sergeant veteran and a member of Nevada's Homeland Security Commission. Here's what he has to say about Marco's national security record:

For the first time since World War II, our armed forces are at risk of being ill-equipped to handle the ever-growing and dynamic threats we face abroad. Under Barack Obama's presidency, our military has faced neglect and disdain, as our weapons systems have been cut and our military leaders ignored. Marco Rubio has fought these cuts that have harmed our military and broken our sacred compact with our men and women in uniform to ensure they are never sent into a fair fight.

As president, Marco will reverse the damage President Obama has inflicted on our military and restore it to readiness levels not seen since the last decade.

For example, the Obama Administration has pursued efforts to weaken our close air support capability by attempting to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt. The A-10 is a vital piece of the American arsenal that our ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq repeatedly call upon for rapid and overwhelming firepower from the skies. As our soldiers and marines have stated time and again, there is no other aircraft in our military's arsenal that can provide the same type of devastating low-flying air protection.

In the Senate, Marco has consistently voted for the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the most recent of which blocked the A-10's retirement, provided platform upgrades, restored necessary personnel and support, and ensured the fleet would remain flying for years to come.

It is critically important that our warfighters are able to maintain a state of cutting-edge technological readiness through advanced operations facilities such as Nellis Air Force Base here in Nevada, where state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicles are remotely operated.

This installation supports some of our most important reconnaissance assets and provides our military leaders with an unparalleled ability to monitor global theaters of operation thousands of miles away.  This is another reason why Marco has consistently voted for the NDAA, which also provided increased resources for training of unmanned systems pilots and joint terminal controllers. When Marco is president, he will prioritize the growth and support of our strategic reconnaissance and surveillance capacities overseas.

The 2014, 2015, and 2016 NDAAs all included provisions prohibiting the Defense Department from conducting a new round of base closures — protecting vital facilities such as Nellis Air Force Base and Naval Air Station Fallon.

Other candidates tout their strong support for military readiness, but their records say something entirely different. For example, Senator Ted Cruz voted against the NDAA three times, effectively voting to deny funding to our armed forces and voting against these key provisions that benefited Nevada. One can only assume that if he would consistently vote against the NDAA, he would veto it if elected president. This dangerous posturing has no place in the White House.

If we continue down our current path, we are at risk of having the smallest Air Force this country has ever seen. When Marco is president, he will put an immediate stop to this trend and put our armed forces back on track to maintaining their status as the most feared military in world, able to strike anywhere at a moment's notice. Marco will help ensure that Nevada continues to play an important role in ensuring that our military can fulfill this responsibility.

Marco Rubio, Rubio Campaign Press Release - Read This Nevada Marine Corps Vet's Take on Why Marco Rubio Is His Pick Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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