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Congressman John Garamendi visits Gonge Innovation Lab

Two men walking into a building

John Garamendi, congressional representative of California’s 3rd District, left, and U.S. Air Force Col. Corey Simmons, 60th Air Mobility Wing commander, walk into the 60th AMW headquarters building Aug. 20, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base. Garamendi met with Simmons prior to the Lt. Gen. John F. Gonge Innovation Lab grand opening ceremony and a visit to the KC-46A Pegasus 3-bay maintenance hangar construction site. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

three men talking to each other

John Garamendi, congressional representative of California’s 3rd District, left, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John Gonge, center, and Col. Corey Simmons, 60th Air Mobility Wing commander, converse inside the Lt. Gen. John F. Gonge Innovation Lab Aug. 20, 2021, at Travis air Force Base, California. Garamendi visited Travis AFB to attend the Gonge Innovation Lab grand opening ceremony and visit the KC-46A Pegasus 3-bay maintenance hangar construction site. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

A man speaks at a podium in front of others

John Garamendi, congressional representative of California’s 3rd District, speaks to Team Travis and community leaders inside the Lt. Gen. John F. Gonge Innovation Lab Aug. 20, 2021, at Travis air Force Base, California. Garamendi spoke on the importance of the innovation lab, the importance of the Airmen, and their ability to utilize the Gonge Innovation Lab to solve problems and modernize the Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

Two men cut a ribbon

John Garamendi, congressional representative of California’s 3rd District, left, and retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John Gonge cut a ribbon during the Lt. Gen. John F. Gonge Innovation Lab grand opening ceremony Aug. 20, 2021, at Travis air Force Base, California. The lab was named in honor of Gonge who served in the building’s original capacity in the 1970s when it was the Travis Operations Center. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

Two men talk in front of a construction site

U.S. Air Force Capt. Alexander Bellows, left, 60th Air Mobility Wing KC-46A Pegasus Program Integration Officer, greets John Garamendi, congressional representative of California’s 3rd District, Aug. 20, 2021, during a tour of the KC-46A Pegasus 3-bay maintenance hangar construction site at Travis air Force Base, California. The hangar is designed to house base’s future inbound KC-46A Pegasus aircraft and scheduled to be completed in fiscal year 2023. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

A man signs his name on a steel beam

John Garamendi, congressional representative of California’s 3rd District, signs his name onto a steel beam at the KC-46A Pegasus 3-bay maintenance hangar construction site Aug. 20, 2021, at Travis air Force Base, California. The hangar is designed to house base’s future inbound KC-46A Pegasus aircraft and scheduled to be completed in fiscal year 2023. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Merchak)

Travis Air Force Base, Calif.-- John Garamendi, congressional representative of California’s 3rd District, attended the Lt. Gen. John F. Gonge Innovation Lab grand opening ceremony Aug. 20, 2021, at Travis Air Force Base, California.

Garamendi also serves as the Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and oversees over one-third of the Department of Defense's annual budget, has jurisdiction over 1,100 military installations and bases worldwide, and oversees all U.S. military training, logistics, and equipment maintenance.

“As the chairman of the House of Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, I understand the significance of innovation in the military,” Garamendi said. “It offers endless, creative solutions to problems and has a substantial impact on enhancing mission readiness.”

Proceeding the ribbon cutting ceremony, Maj. Eric Robinson, Phoenix Spark director, updated Garamendi on the Travis AFB Exceptional Family Member Program CareStarter pilot.

Robinson explained the CareStarter Pilot is designed to enable the delivery of essential resources to Airmen and their families based on the age, diagnosis, and location of their loved ones.

“The big thing that will come out of this laboratory… We don’t know what it is,” Garamendi said. “We do know that there are individuals on this stage, around the military and community that have an idea, that see a problem, see an opportunity and they now have a place to bring that idea, that curiosity, that necessity and suddenly have a solution and from that solution there will be a problem that will be solved, an opportunity that will be addressed and that’s right here.”

Garamendi also learned about the Easy Aerial small unarmed aircraft technology used by the 60th Security Forces Squadron.

“It is very crucial that we modernize the Air Force,” Robinson said. “This lab and the Airmen within are paving the way to what our Air Force will be 10, 15, 20 years down the road.”

After spending a portion of the morning at the Gonge Innovation Lab, Garamendi visited the KC-46A 3-Bay hangar construction site to see the progress and learn what capabilities the KC-46 will bring to Travis AFB.

 

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