Yucaipa’s Rep. Cook Co-Sponsors Amendment to Repair Earthquake Damage at Military Bases

By on July 17, 2019
Rep. Paul Cook

An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act by Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-23rd District-Bakersfield) to repair any damages to military bases caused by Southern California’s recent earthquakes has been co-sponsored by Rep. Paul Cook (R-8th District-Apple Valley). Rep. Cook’s district includes Yucaipa.

Rep. McCarthy’s amendment would require repairs to any damages sustained at Edwards Air Force Base, Fort Irwin, and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Earthquakes in the Searles Valley – epicentered in the areas near the desert communities of Ridgecrest and Trona – included a foreshock of 6.4 on July 4 and the larger temblor of 7.1 on July 5. Numerous aftershocks have rocked the desert and are still continuing.

(These) … “earthquakes damaged key military installations in the area. Congress has a duty to ensure these bases are operational and mission ready,” said Rep. Cook. “We owe it to our men and women in uniform that they have the best tools possible to defend our national security. I thank Leader McCarthy for joining me in recognizing the importance of this amendment and hope that the House will pass it this week.”

The amendment calls on the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress within 90 days detailing what corrective actions need to be undertaken to ensure military readiness. It also requires an explanation as to how the construction projects will incorporate ways to minimize the threat from natural disasters in the future.

“Having seen some of the damage firsthand, (these) earthquakes were devastating to NAWS China Lake and our community of Ridgecrest,” said Rep. McCarthy. “Despite the destruction, our American spirit has prevailed in the face of adversity, with people from all over the state coming together to help our neighbors. But we are still recovering.”

Rep. McCarthy’s comments continued saying, “NAWS China Lake, along with Edwards Air Force Base and Fort Irwin, are national assets. With the epicenter of the earthquakes on China Lake, the Navy is still assessing damage, but we need to ensure that we are not only rebuilding this important base to address the threats facing our nation today, but also emerging threats in the days ahead. My amendment authorizes $100 million to help address China Lake’s pressing needs and requires the Department of Defense to modernize infrastructure and facilities at China Lake as part of the efforts to return the base to mission-capable status. We will rebuild China Lake, stronger and better.

“These bases are critical to the region and our national security, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this amendment to provide much-needed assistance to areas most impacted by the earthquakes in Ridgecrest.”

A retired U.S. Marine Corp. Colonel Rep. Cook is a member of the House Natural Resources and Armed Services Committees. He is also the Republican Leader on the House Natural Resources Indigenous Peoples of America Subcommittee. While in the Marine Corps, Rep. Cook served as an infantry officer and retired after 26 years. During his time in combat, he was awarded the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

Rep. Cook’s 8th District includes a Yucaipa District Office at 34282 Yucaipa Blvd. in Yucaipa. The phone number is: 909-797-4900. Please call for the hours of availability before visiting the Yucaipa office.