Senator Kelly Will Continue Arizona’s Legacy of Service on Senate Armed Services Committee
Other committee assignments include roles key to Arizona’s economic recovery
Today, U.S. Senator and Navy veteran Mark Kelly announced that he will serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee during this congressional term, continuing the legacy of Arizona Senators advocating for the state’s defense community and our national security on the committee. Kelly will also serve on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, the Special Committee on Aging, and the Joint Economic Committee.
A twenty-five year Navy veteran with experience as a combat pilot, test pilot, and astronaut, Kelly is prepared to advocate for Arizona’s defense priorities that are central to the state’s identity and economy, and important to our national security.
“Arizona trains some of the best pilots and intelligence officers in the world, it develops and tests many of the advanced weapons systems needed to outpace China and Russia, and it is home to a community committed to our national security and to supporting service members and military families. It’s an honor to join the long legacy of Arizona Senators serving on the Armed Services Committee, and I look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats, and Arizona defense leaders, to protect and expand Arizona’s role in our national defense and meet the threats we face around the world,” said Senator Kelly.
Kelly’s service on the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Energy and Natural Resources, Environment and Public Works, and Joint Economic Committees will also enable him to tackle issues facing seniors during the pandemic and work on priorities that are critical to Arizona’s economic recovery such as solar energy, public lands, and infrastructure.
“Arizona seniors have been hit hard by COVID-19, and I’m going to be their advocate in Washington working to get them the support they need during and after this pandemic. I’m also going to be working to make the investments in infrastructure and renewable energy that are critical to our economic recovery and creating good-paying jobs across Arizona,” Kelly added.
Further background on Kelly’s military experience and preparations to represent Arizona on the Senate Armed Services Committee:
Kelly’s Military Service
- Kelly served in the U.S. Navy for 25 years, retiring with the rank of Captain (O-6) in 2011.
- Kelly was commissioned into the Navy in 1986 after graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
- He became a naval aviator, completing pilot training in Beeville, Texas before receiving initial training on the A-6E Intruder.
- Kelly was then assigned to Attack Squadron 115 in Atsugi, Japan, and made two deployments to the Arabian Gulf aboard the USS Midway. The second deployment was during Operation Desert Storm, and Kelly flew 39 combat missions over Iraq and Kuwait.
- After receiving his Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Kelly attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School from 1993-1994.
- Kelly became a U.S. Navy Test Pilot, and over the course of his career in the Navy logged more than 5,000 hours in more than 50 different aircraft and completed 375 carrier landings.
- Kelly entered the astronaut corps in 1996 in the same class as his twin brother, Scott Kelly.
- Senator Kelly’s first of four flights to space was in 2001 as the pilot of Space Shuttle Endeavour.
- In 2011, Kelly commanded Space Shuttle Endeavour for its final mission into space.
- In total, Kelly traveled more than 22 million miles and orbited the earth more than 850 times.
Kelly Ready to Advocate for Arizona
Even before being named to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Kelly has been preparing to be an advocate for Arizona’s defense community.
- Arizona is home to seven military installations:
- Luke Air Force Base in Glendale
- Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson
- Barry Goldwater Air Force Range
- Fort Huachuca in Cochise County
- Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma County
- Camp Navajo in Flagstaff
- Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Yuma County
- Since being sworn in in early December, Kelly has met with the following groups and individuals:
- Senator Kelly’s Defense Advisory Group, formed in December 2020
- General Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense
- Brig. Gen. Anthony Hale, Commanding General of Fort Huachuca
- Col. Patrick McFall, Commander Yuma Proving Ground
- General Charles Brown, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
- Barbara Barrett, former Secretary of the Air Force
- General Daniel Hokanson, Chief of the National Guard Bureau
- General John Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, United States Space Force
- Luke Air Force Base West Valley Partners
- In the past two years, Kelly has visited
- Luke Air Force Base
- Yuma Proving Ground
- MCAS Yuma
- In the coming months, Kelly will continue visiting Arizona’s military installations and meeting with Arizona’s defense community on priorities including protecting the A-10 mission at Davis-Monthan, supporting the F-35 programs at MCAS Yuma and Luke AFB, maintaining the Barry Goldwater Range as a critical location for training, continuing the intelligence missions at Fort Huachuca, and increasing the capability of Yuma Proving Ground for the Army and private sector partners in Arizona.