U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), gave opening remarks this morning at a SASC nomination hearing to consider the nomination of Lieutenant General Stephen R. Lyons to be General and Commander of the United States Transportation Command.
As prepared for delivery:
The Committee meets today to review the nomination of Lieutenant General Stephen Lyons to be Commander of U.S. Transportation Command. General Lyons, we thank you for your service to our country.
In order to exercise its legislative and oversight responsibilities, it is important that this committee and other appropriate committees are able to receive testimony, briefings and other communications of information. Please answer the following questions with an audible Yes or No:
- Have you adhered to applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest?
- Do you agree, when asked, to give your personal views, even if those views differ from the Administration in power?
- Will you ensure your staff complies with deadlines established for requested communications, including questions for the record in hearings?
- Will you cooperate in providing witnesses and briefers in response to Congressional requests?
- Will those witnesses be protected from reprisal for their testimony or briefings?
- Do you agree, if confirmed, to appear and testify upon request before this Committee?
- Do you agree to provide documents, including copies of electronic forms of communication, in a timely manner when requested by a duly constituted Committee, or to consult with the Committee regarding the basis for any good faith delay or denial in providing such documents?
- Have you assumed any duties or undertaken any actions which would appear to presume the outcome of the confirmation process?
General Lyons, you have been nominated to lead TRANSCOM during a critical time in its history.
Our capacity to mobilize and deploy forces across the globe is ever more critical and crucial given the contested environment described in the National Defense Strategy.
In this environment, we can no longer assume that U.S. forces will have uncontested access to international airspace and sea-lanes.
TRANSCOM faces a pressing challenge of maintaining resilient and agile logistics to enable our goals and objectives no matter what the future operating environment may entail.
If confirmed, your job will be to ensure that our operational plans contain valid assumptions for how our service members will get to the fight—and how they will be sustained in a contested, forward environment.
In light of your experience serving as the former Deputy Commander of TRANSCOM and Director for Logistics on the Joint Staff, we know you are well-qualified to tackle these challenges.
What we ask of you today is an honest assessment of TRANSCOM’s current ability to fulfill COCOM requirements as well as your plans to improve resiliency while maintaining efficiency. We know that you’ll have the right responses to that.