Fort Bliss - National Security

Fort Bliss - National Security

"Fort Bliss is vital to America's national security and the driving force of our local economy.  The successful expansion of Fort Bliss is key our economic growth."  -Congressman Silvestre Reyes   


Congressman Reyes is a senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee, the primary committee responsible for the funding and oversight of the Department of Defense (DOD).  The committee plays a central role in determining funding levels for Fort Bliss.

As an Army combat veteran, Congressman Reyes understands the sacrifices that the men and women of our Armed Forces endure when serving abroad.  In El Paso and in Washington, Reyes is known as a staunch advocate for our troops, their families, and our veterans.  The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) presented Reyes with the "Outstanding Legislator Award,” calling him a “great friend of the Army as an institution and supporter of soldiers and their families.

Since coming to Congress, Reyes has been instrumental in the expansion of Fort Bliss, a driving force of El Paso economic growth.  In 1995, prior to Reyes’ election to Congress, the Department of Defense directed that the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment be relocated from Fort Bliss to Fort Carson, Colorado.  This action left the post without any heavy armored brigades and put the base at risk of closure.  Through his position on the Armed Services Committee, Reyes worked to prevent the Department of Defense from closing Fort Bliss as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) process.

As a result of the efforts by Reyes and other community leaders who were united to save Fort Bliss from closure, the post received the top ranking in "military value" among all 97 Army installations in the United States.  Through the BRAC consolidation, Fort Bliss emerged with the largest net gain of active duty troops, and is expected to grow by 24,000 active duty personnel by 2013.  These additional troops at Fort Bliss will expand the post’s economic impact on the local economy from an annual $1.7 billion in 2005 to $5.6 billion annually beginning in 2013.

Reyes continues to push for funding to prepare Fort Bliss for the large influx of troops and their families.  Since his election to Congress, the Army has invested over $5 billion in new facilities on Fort Bliss, and in 2009 Congressman Reyes successfully secured legislative authorization of nearly $1 billion to construct a new state-of-the-art William Beaumont Army Medical Center campus that will serve current and former military members and their families.

Armed Services Committee Assignments in Support of El Paso Area

Coming from a region which boasts three military facilities - Fort Bliss, White Sands Missile Range, and Holloman Air Force Base - Congressman Reyes understands the importance of these installations to our national security and our regional economy.  His subcommittee assignments allow him to have significant input on defense programs critical to El Paso.

Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee
- Congressman Reyes serves the senior Democratic member of the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee which has jurisdiction over the modernization of equipment used by our military's ground and aviation troops.  With a focus on the Army and Air Force programs, Congressman Reyes' service as the top Democrat on the Subcommittee allows him be involved in the decisions which affect the future of our national defense.  Specifically, the Subcommittee is responsible for funding key programs of importance to Fort Bliss, White Sands Missile Range, and Holloman Air Force Base.

Readiness Subcommittee - The Readiness Subcommittee is responsible for military readiness, training, logistics and maintenance issues and programs.  In addition, the Subcommittee is responsible for all military construction, installations and family housing issues, including the base closure process. Military construction is vital to ensuring the continued military value of a base.  Congressman Reyes serves on this Subcommittee (and its predecessor, the Military Installations and Facilities Subcommittee) because these issues are critical to the continued operation and value of military posts.  Additionally, Reyes is a strong supporter of Impact Aid to provide financial support to school districts which serve the children of military members and the Army’s Residential Communities Initiative (RCI), an effort to expand on-base housing and eliminate inadequate homes.

Speeches and Statements - Defense Leaders Unveil Plans for Base Closure 1.27.2012

Press Releases - Reyes statement on impact of sequestration and budget crisis on defense spending 11.18.2011


Press Releases - REYES statement on the Senate confirmation of Leon Panetta as Secretary of Defense 6.21.2011

News Articles - WTB Complex opens: WBAMC’s campus-style environment to promote unity, healing 6.18.2011

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2/25/2009 HPSCI Threat Assessment