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Trainees show skills for Esper, Inhofe

Fort Sill trainees got to show off their skills for Secretary of the Army Mark Esper and U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe Thursday, illustrating what both men came to see: how increased military spending is contributing to a stronger Army.

Esper and Inhofe arrived on post Thursday for a visit that will culminate late today after the men spend the day visiting more trainees and discussing Fort Sill’s missions. It was familiar territory for Esper, who was commissioned in the Army infantry, and Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a strong military proponent who frequently visits Fort Sill and other military installations in his home state.

Inhofe said it was important to be at Fort Sill because the post remains the Army’s top installation, a point re-emphasized every time a round of BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) comes up — and passes without mission reductions at Fort Sill.

“We’re ranked above everyone else,” he said.

Esper said part of that credit is due to Inhofe, a long-tenured member of the U.S. Senate and now chair of its Armed Services Committee. Esper said the Army needs to be strong in the world today and he was seeing proof of the importance of that strong U.S. military, as the nation’s defense budget continues to provide increased funding for training, equipment and personnel.

“We’re rebuilding,” he said.

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