Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Port of Corpus

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Thursday, February 17, 2005  •  Speech

Thank you.  I am honored to be joined by Ruben Bonilla, Chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi...
...Texas Transportation Commissioner Hope Andrade...
...former state representative Judy Hawley...
...and (other elected officials).

And it is a special privilege to have with us Army Lieutenant General Robert Dail, deputy commander of the United States Transportation Command...
...and Army Brigadier General Maynard Sanders, deputy commander of the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command. 

We are proud to support their mission of moving troops and supplies around the world.

In Texas we value and appreciate our servicemen and women...
...and we are proud of our strong ties to the military...
...from our Commander in Chief to the thousands of members of the Armed Forces who serve at our 18 major military installations.

We also recognize that a strong military presence is important to our economy.  Department of Defense expenditures in Texas exceed $32.8 billion annually...
...equating to an economic impact of some $77 billion.


In recent months, we have taken unprecedented steps to increase the value of our bases and welcome a greater military presence in our state.

In October, I announced that Naval Air Station Corpus Christi would be receiving more than $5 million from a newly created low interest loan fund for critical infrastructure improvements to enhance its capabilities and increase its value to the U.S. Armed Forces.

We committed to making $13 million in transportation improvements at the Red River Army Depot in Texarkana contingent upon the Department of Defense expanding military missions there.

And we helped secure the relocation of 8,800 troops to Fort Hood and Fort Bliss by committing $36 million to improve roads on and around those bases.

As we continue to aggressively position Texas as the ideal location for continued and expanded missions...
...we must also look beyond the bases themselves and address other infrastructure needs that can improve our ability to support our men and women in uniform.

Texas is home to two of the most important strategic military deployment ports in the United States...
...at Beaumont and here in Corpus Christi...
...that are utilized by some twenty military installations across the country. 

In the past two years, these ports have shipped 40 percent of all military cargo to overseas locations.

Given the recent reassignment of troops to Fort Hood and Fort Bliss...
...as well as the possibility of additional troops being moved from the European Theater to Texas bases...
...deployment demands at both of these ports will likely increase in the coming years.

That is why today I am proud to announce that the State of Texas is committing $5.2 million to expand and enhance cargo loading capabilities at the Port of Corpus Christi...
...the most recently designated strategic deployment port.

These funds, made available by the Texas Department of Transportation, will allow the port to make critically needed improvements to rail infrastructure...
...double ship-loading capacity for military vessels...
...and significantly reduce the time it takes to get military transport ships on their way...
...so that our men and women in harm’s way get supplies faster.

These improvements will benefit commercial shipping as well...
...and help boost Corpus Christi’s reputation as a vital hub of commerce in North America.

With this important infrastructure investment we are reinforcing our message to decision-makers in Washington, D.C., that Texas continues to be a full partner in supporting the mission of our military like no other state. 

Our commitment is evidenced by real dollars that will not only help support current missions...
...but also build our capacity to accept expanded missions and additional personnel in the future.

I want to thank the Texas Department of Transportation... the Port of Corpus Christi... and the many local leaders who worked together to make this day possible.

To speak more about this grant, please welcome Transportation Commissioner Hope Andrade...

We are also honored to have with us General Robert Dail, who is responsible for the nation’s defense transportation systems...

And now please welcome former state representative Judy Hawley...

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