Markey, Warren Work to Protect Lajes Field in the Azores
Senators included provision in National Defense Authorization Act
WASHINGTON (December 23, 2013) – Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren today applauded passage of their provision in the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that would ensure the United States Air Force would not reduce the force structure at Lajes Air Force Base until an assessment of all European air force bases is complete and Congress is briefed. Lajes Field, located on Terceira Island in the Azores archipelago, has been home to a U.S. presence since WWII. It remains a strategic location for support to aircraft transiting to and from the United States.
“Lajes Field is a strategic asset to the United States and a vital part of the Azorean economy,” said Senator Markey. “I am pleased that Senator Warren and I were able to include this provision in the defense authorization bill that will help protect Lajes and ensure its continued operation at current levels. I will continue to fight to ensure Lajes Field remains a vital and robust presence on the Azores for its people and our national interests.”
“I’m very pleased Lajes Field will continue to remain operational at current force structure levels,” said Senator Warren. “Lajes plays a significant strategic role for our Air Force, and the base is important for both the United States and the Azores. I was glad to work with Senator Markey to include this provision in the National Defense Authorization Act.”
A copy of the letter that Senators Markey and Warren sent to the leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee calling for this provision to be included in the NDAA can be found HERE.
In November, Senators Markey and Warren each met with President Vasco Cordeiro of the Regional Government of the Azores on importance of the Lajes Field.