DeLay Backs DHS Office At Ellington
"In my efforts to support Ellington, I want to make sure that everything is being done to increase its value to our homeland security mission while enhancing its ability to protect the Texas Gulf Coast region," DeLay said in a letter to DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff this week.
He told Chertoff that a DHS regional office at Ellington would complement the services already there, including the 147th Fighter Wing of the Texas Air National Guard, Coast Guard Air Station Houston and the Texas Army National Guard.
Adding the DHS to the mix, the congressman said, would "ensure our region's assets, including NASA, the refineries, the Port of Houston and other critical industries in the area, are sufficiently protected."
DeLay's request is the latest addition to a growing mix of considerations and decisions that are shaping the future of the historic field that opened in 1917.
The Defense Department recently announced an agreement to relocate 2,300 military reservists to Ellington from land near Texas Medical Center that the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center wants for expansion.
- The basic infrastructure is there. The capital expenditures involved would be proportionately lower.
- Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, located in a distinct region of the country. It makes sense to locate there, just as it does to place regional offices in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
- The Port of Houston (especially when one throws in the nearby Port of Galveston and Port of Texas City) is a major international commercial hub, especially for the petrochemical industry. Protecting our energy resources is vital. Ellington Field is located withing 15 minutes by car of virtually any of the port or chemical facilities along the Houston Ship Channel.
- Johnson Space Center is less than five miles away from Ellington Field, and some of the facilities related to the space program are at (or border on) Ellington Field.
- Houston's close proximity to the southern border.