By Jeff Mullin, Senior Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Oklahoma was well-represented Thursday when the Association of Defense Communities handed out awards at its annual National Summit in Washington, D.C. — with Sen. Jim Inhofe and Tinker Air Force Base taking top honors.
Inhofe, R-Okla., was presented the group’s Congressional Leadership Award, while Tinker was named ADC’s Department of Defense Installation of the Year.
Inhofe, Oklahoma’s senior senator, is ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and has been a long-time supporter of the military, said Mike Cooper, city of Enid military liaison and vice president of the ADC.
“Support for the military has been a career-long effort for Sen. Inhofe,” said Cooper. “He is one of the pioneers. He knows and understands we have to have a strong national defense in order to maintain our freedoms. In that regard, nobody tops what Jim Inhofe has done.”
Over the years, Inhofe has been responsible for millions of military construction dollars going to fund projects at Vance Air Force Base through add-ons to the federal defense budget. Inhofe has likewise championed the state’s other military facilities, Cooper said.
“He believes he is there for two reasons. One is to promote strong infrastructure, and two is to promote a strong national defense,” Cooper said. “He coordinates with community and state organizations as they work to do all they can to protect and enhance military facilities and help them reduce costs.
“Inhofe has always been the linkage on the federal level to make sure our warfighters have the best equipment and that defense is protected.”
Bob Murdock, president of ADC, likewise praised Inhofe and his work in support of America’s military.
“We are proud to present Sen. Inhofe with ADC’s inaugural Congressional Leadership Award for his long-standing support of ADC’s members and the leadership role he plays supporting the communities and states that are home to our military installations,” said Murdock. “His unwavering advocacy for active-duty service members, their families and veterans is also critical.”
For his part, Inhofe expressed his gratitude to the group for the award.
“I am proud to accept this award for myself and on behalf of all of Oklahoma,” said Inhofe. “This award honors all of our communities around the state that have enduring support and admiration for our military and the service members who answer the call each day to defend our nation. Additionally, Tinker Air Force Base was acknowledged by ADC as the DoD Installation of the year, highlighting the honorable work both our civilian and military personnel perform on base in support of our armed forces. In the midst of unprecedented cuts to our defense budget, groups like ADC are critical to ensuring our military communities receive the support they deserve.”
The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) represents 200 communities, states and regions with a significant military presence.