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Aerospace Industries Association honors Shelby for defense industry support

The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) recently presented its “Wright Stuff Award” to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) for his career work in securing federal investment for the nation’s defense industry.

Shelby, who serves as vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense, has long advocated for and successfully increased funding for the U.S. military and its manufacturing base.

Alabama’s senior senator is currently serving his sixth and final term in the upper chamber of Congress.

According to AIA president and CEO Eric Fanning, Shelby’s work will be of long-term benefit to the military, NASA and the civil aviation system.

“On behalf of the 2.1 million employees working in aerospace and defense, it’s an honor to present our ‘Wright Stuff Award’ to Senator Richard Shelby,” said Fanning in a release. “He’s been a tireless advocate for America’s military and national security throughout his career. He’s also been an effective advocate for America’s defense industrial base and his legacy of service is enduring.”

Established in 2020, the “Wright Stuff Award” is named after the Wright brothers in recognition of their contributions to aviation. According to AIA, the award recognizes individuals who have significantly impacted the United States’ aerospace and defense industry.

RELATED: Shelby honored with Manufacture Alabama’s ‘Friend of the Industry’ award

In the fiscal year 2022 omnibus package, Shelby secured billions worth of federal investment impacting the state of Alabama’s defense industrial base.

Though he is set to leave office next January when a new Congress is seated, Shelby is continuing to direct federal spending to the Yellowhammer State. The master appropriator has requested $664 million in fiscal year 2023 earmarks for Alabama.

UPDATE 3:27 p.m.:

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Shelby asserted that it was “paramount” for Congress to “prioritize investments” in the United States’ defense industrial base.

“Thank you to the Aerospace Industries Association for presenting me with this high honor,” expressed Shelby. “It has been my great privilege in Congress to advocate for the aerospace and defense industry, which is critical to the modernization of our Armed Services. The security of the nation is paramount to all other issues, and we must prioritize investments in our military and its manufacturing base.”

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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