Press Releases

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Farr secures over $40 million for Camp Roberts improvements

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, announced today that he secured $39 million for the California Army National Guard to construct a new 43,000-square-foot Satellite Communications (SATCOM) operations facility at Camp Roberts. The new funds are in addition to the $2.9 million he announced earlier this week to repair the High Water Bridge at the military installation.
 
Camp Roberts SATCOM facilities provide communications capabilities for strategic and tactical U.S. and Allied forces around the globe, particularly for operations in the Pacific theater. Camp Roberts needs to expand and modernize the current facility to meet increased demands created by the President’s strategic rebalance of Department of Defense assets for the Asia-Pacific region. 
 
“A new SATCOM facility is needed to meet the changing mission of our modern military,” said Farr. “Investments like this in Camp Roberts’ infrastructure hopefully shows the Pentagon recognizes the unique strategic value created by the Central Coast’s military installations.”
 
This $39 million is in addition to the $2.9 million received earlier this week to repair the High Water Bridge at Camp Roberts. Repairs to the bridge, which is currently inoperable due to severe structural damage, are necessary to improve personnel safety during training. The bridge provides the most direct link to Camp Roberts’ medical facility from the firing range. Repairs to the bridge will cut travel time between the two locations by almost 40 minutes. 
 
“The safety of our National Guard members during training is the top priority for the leadership at Camp Roberts,” said Farr. “The High Water Bridge provides the fastest route between the firing ranges and the medical facility. In the event of an emergency, every second is critical to get medical help so I am glad we are able to restore this vital link between the two locations.” 
 
The new SATCOM facility has an estimated completion date of June 2016. The repairs to the High Water Bridge are expected to be completed before next summer.
 
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Farr secures $2.9 million for Camp Roberts High Water Bridge

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, announced today that the California Army National Guard received $2.9 million to repair the High Water Bridge at Camp Roberts. Repairs to the bridge, which is currently inoperable due to severe structural damage, are necessary to improve safety during training. The bridge provides the most direct link to Camp Roberts’ medical facility from the firing range. 
 
“Ensuring the safety of our National Guard members during training is critical for Camp Roberts to fulfill its mission,” said Farr. “The High Water Bridge provides the fastest route between the firing ranges and the medical facility. In the event of an emergency, every second is critical to get medical help so I am glad we are able to restore this vital link between the two locations.” 
 
Camp Roberts is divided by the Nacimiento River, with the operations facilities and housing located to the south, and the training ranges on the north. The primary bridge to cross the river is the High Water Bridge which provides the shortest path between the training ranges and the facilities. Since 2009, the bridge has been unsafe to use creating an additional 40 minutes of travel time between the two areas.
 
The project was originally identified by the California Army National Guard as the state’s top unfunded military construction project but did not originally receive funding in this year’s budget. Farr worked with the National Guard Bureau and Camp Roberts leadership to secure the $2.9 million necessary to repair the damaged bridge from unspent funds leftover at the end of the FY 2014 budget.  
 
"The repair of the High-Water Bridge at Camp Roberts has been among our top construction priorities for years. Thanks in large part to Representative Sam Farr's efforts, we'll finally be able to repair this critical infrastructure to dramatically improve the safety of our service members and make our training much more efficient," said Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, Adjutant General for the California National Guard. "Representative Farr continues to be a stalwart supporter of our soldiers and airmen, especially those at Camp Roberts, our most important training installation."
 
Camp Roberts has begun soliciting bids to complete the repairs.  Construction is expected to begin by mid-November and should be completed before summer training begins next year.
 
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Statement on the House vote to limit military involvement in Iraq

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, released the following statement after the House or Representatives passed the bipartisan McGovern-Jones-Lee resolution today which requires the President to seek Congressional authorization before deploying armed services engaged in combat operations in Iraq:
 
“From day one, I have used my voice and my vote to promote peace in Iraq. Now, more than ever, that country and its citizens deserve peace. Any decision to escalate our military involvement in this war-torn country must be careful, deliberative, and include Congress.
            
“There is no question that sectarian violence in Iraq poses a grave danger to both the country and region’s stability. Before military options are put on the table, we must exhaust every possible diplomatic solution. Diplomacy and debate leads to lasting peace and stabilization. At this point, I do not believe that sending more of our brave women and men to Iraq will win the peace. 
 
“I know I am not alone in this call for peace. But while it is one thing to express the desire for peace, it is a perhaps more daunting task to do what it takes to achieve peace. Iraq’s leadership is changing and I am hopeful they can move swiftly towards a more inclusive government.  
            
“I will continue to watch this situation closely and insist that Congress be consulted for any matter involving US military involvement. The stakes are too high and the cost is too great.”
 
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Farr statement on the Republicans’ vote to sue the President

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, released the following statement after the Republican controlled House of Representatives voted to sue the President of the United States over implementation of the Affordable Care Act:
 
“Rather than doing their job of passing legislation to help the American people, Republicans have decided to waste more taxpayer dollars on a frivolous lawsuit against the President – a lawsuit many of them hope will lead to impeachment. Talk about Nero fiddling while Rome burns.
 
“Where is the jobs bill? Where is the bill to address immigration reform? Where is the bill to jumpstart our middle class or provide a livable minimum wage? Where is the bill to guarantee women receive equal pay for equal work? 
 
“Those are the issues that Congress should be focused on. Instead, as House Republicans prepare to leave town for a month, their only priority is to satisfy the extreme Tea Party faction of their party.  For several years, they have been obsessed with repealing Obamacare. Now Republicans want to sue the President because they didn’t like the way he implemented a law they voted over 50 times to repeal. 
 
“This absurd lawsuit is nothing more than an election year stunt. The House Leadership needs to stop wasting our time on political games and let us get back to work on the real issues affecting the American people.”
 
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President signs Farr bill to name new joint VA-DOD clinic after General Gourley

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama today signed Rep. Sam Farr’s, D-Carmel, bill to name the future joint Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense outpatient clinic at the former Fort Ord the "Major General William H. Gourley VA-DOD Outpatient Clinic.” The bill, H.R. 272, honors Gen. Gourley for his lifetime of service to his country, his fellow members of the military and Central Coast veterans. The new clinic is the second joint clinic in the nation and the first built specifically from the ground up to care for active duty service members, their families and veterans all under one roof. The bill received unanimous support in Congress.
 
“General Gourley inspired the creation of the joint clinic at Fort Ord,” said Farr. “To honor his commitment to the clinic’s construction, when the doors open to provide care for both active duty members of the military and veterans, it will bear the name of the man who dedicated his entire life to serving those who served our nation.” 
 
Gen. Gourley, who passed away in 2008, was instrumental in the clinic's development. During his career he championed his 10 Golden Rules. His 10th rule was “Make a better Army and Corps for your subordinates to inherit.” He carried that mantra into retirement by working tirelessly to improve the treatment and care of veterans in California. His interest in designating a section of Fort Ord as a joint clinic for both veterans and service members began when the base closed in 1994. Because of his efforts, the clinic will serve over 80,000 active duty service members, their families and veterans. 
 
Ground was broken last Veterans Day and the clinic is expected to open in the fall of 2016. The three-story building, 104,000-square-foot facility will provide primary care and specialty care including medical/surgical subspecialty clinics, mental health care, audiology, physical and occupation therapy, ancillary and diagnostic services. The clinic will replace the VA’s existing clinic which is too small to serve the current population and cannot be expanded.
 
“General Gourely championed bringing the two departments together under one roof as a way to provide better care for our service members throughout their career and on into retirement,” said Farr. “Thanks to his efforts, this design will not only improve the lives for those here on the Central Coast but hopefully it will become the model for future clinics throughout the country.”
 
Gen. Gourley's military service began in the late 1950s when he served in Germany, where he shared MREs (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) with Elvis Presley. He later served in Korea and Vietnam. After returning from his tour in Vietnam, he was assigned to the Pentagon and rose to work with then Gen. Colin Powell on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
 
In his retirement, Gen. Gourley worked to enhance life for active duty soldiers and veterans living in Central California by working to improve TRICARE service on the Monterey peninsula; establish a veterans cemetery on the old Fort Ord; make health care more affordable and accessible to military retirees; and providing the groundwork for the joint DOD-VA health care clinic.
 
Artistic rendering of the clinic:
 
 
 
 
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