Grissom Air Reserve Base – Wednesday, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James visited Grissom Air Reserve Base (ARB) to see its infrastructure firsthand and to meet with the men and women of the 434th Air Refueling Wing (ARW). Donnelly, Secretary James, and Grissom officials discussed the strong value of the base’s current mission and its importance to supporting the Air Force and contributing to our national security needs. Secretary James’ visit followed invitations from Donnelly to tour Grissom ARB.
Donnelly, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said, “This was an important opportunity to show Secretary James all that Grissom has to offer and the critical role Grissom plays in supporting our war fighters. Grissom is home to one of our nation’s finest Air Force teams with the dedicated men and women of the 434th Air Refueling Wing. The base has a strategic location, excellent infrastructure, and the unwavering support of Hoosiers. I am confident that Grissom will continue to play a large and growing role in our national defense for decades to come, and I will continue to work to ensure the Air Force recognizes the tremendous asset they have here in Indiana.”
Secretary James said, “Senator Donnelly and I have met several times to discuss the fantastic Airmen of the 434th Air Refueling Wing and the critical role they play in the Air Force’s mission. It was great spending some time with them today and getting to personally thank them for their service. Of course they couldn’t do what they do without the tremendous support from the community and for that I say thank you to the wonderful people of the Hoosier state.”
Col. Doug Schwartz, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander, said, “We were thrilled to have Secretary James and Senator Donnelly visit Grissom Air Reserve Base. We were excited for Secretary James to meet the men and women of the Hoosier Wing and see first-hand the outstanding facilities that we have here as well as learn more about our mission and capabilities. We are also very grateful to Senator Donnelly for his support to the Airmen here and for his involvement in bringing Secretary James to Grissom.”
In October 2015, Donnelly sent a letter to Secretary James inviting her to tour Grissom ARB. Donnelly has been a vocal advocate on behalf of Grissom, emphasizing to the Air Force leadership and Secretary James the strengths of the base and the 434th ARW, including its sterling reputation, experience and expertise, infrastructure, and strong local support.