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July 28, 2020

ICYMI: SASC Chairman Inhofe Opening Remarks at Nomination Hearing for NORTHCOM, SPACECOM Leadership

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, gave opening remarks this afternoon at a hearing to consider the nominations of Lieutenant General Glen D. VanHerck, nominated to be General and Commander, United States Northern Command, and Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command, and Lieutenant General James H. Dickinson to be General and Commander, United States Space Command.

As Prepared For Delivery:

Good afternoon.  The Committee meets today to consider the nominations of: Lieutenant General Glen D. VanHerck to Commander, United States Northern Command and Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command; Lieutenant General James H. Dickinson to be Commander, United States Space Command.

We are experiencing unique challenges and threats to our country for which we need strong leadership to see us through. You have both been nominated for positions at the forefront of our current challenges, and as we consider your nominations, we’ll be looking to ensure you can provide the solutions and expertise needed in these circumstances.

Lieutenant General VanHerck – As our nation faces the COVID-19 pandemic, with NORTHCOM at the forefront of the Defense Department’s response, your extensive experience as an Air Force commander and as director of the Joint Staff will be essential. During the past few months, tens of thousands of National Guardsmen and active-duty soldiers have been on the front lines in operating testing sites, expanding our medical capacity, and delivering supplies. They deserve strong, measured, and mature leadership, and I am confident that you will provide that given your distinguished record of service.  

Lieutenant General Dickinson – The Commander, U.S. SPACECOM is responsible for the planning and execution of global space operations activities and missions as directed. The Commander plans, executes, and assesses space operations in coordination with or in support of other Combatant Commanders. This includes conducting offensive and defensive space operations, protecting and defending the U.S. and, as directed, allied partners and commercial space operation capabilities, serving as the single point of contact for military space operation matters, and providing space capabilities and information to combatant commands, allies and other entities as directed.

I speak for the Committee when I say that we appreciate your willingness to serve our country in these important roles and appear before us today.

I don’t have to tell either of you about the many challenges our nation faces, both here and across the world. Both of the positions for which we are considering are at the forefront of those challenges. From responding to a global pandemic to ensuring our dominance in space, it is important that we have the right leadership for these times.

At the forefront of these responsibilities is ensuring that we continue to implement and fulfill the National Defense Strategy. It is important that we have leadership that can take on roles to help us win the great power competition and take care of our people. 

We look forward to hearing your views on these and other important issues.


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