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February 26, 2019

ICYMI: SASC Chairman Inhofe Remarks at SASC STRATCOM and NORTHCOM Hearing

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, gave opening remarks this morning at a SASC hearing to receive testimony on United States Strategic Command and United States Northern Command.

As prepared for delivery:

Good morning. The committee meets today to receive testimony on the posture of U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Northern Command. I’d like to welcome our witnesses:

  • General John Hyten, Commander of U.S. STRATCOM
  • General Terry O’Shaughnessy, Commander of U.S. NORTHCOM

This Committee’s top priority is to support the effective implementation of the National Defense Strategy. The NDS Commission made it clear that maintaining nuclear deterrence is required. While we ignored nuclear weapons after the Cold War ended, Russia and China have been focusing more and more on nuclear programs—but our lack of focus on nuclear infrastructure has put us in danger of falling behind.

Now, we need to modernize all three legs of the nuclear triad, as well as warheads and infrastructure at the Department of Energy. There has been bipartisan support for these programs in the past, and I hope there will be in the future too.

The President and the DOD have also rightly identified space as a warfighting domain that is growing more important every day.

General Hyten, you are a career space professional, and your current command both directs and relies upon many space systems every day. I look forward to hearing your views on establishing U.S. Space Command as a full combatant command. I am also interested in your thoughts on the new Space Force, including the consideration of integrating NRO and NGA in the new structure. 

General O’Shaughnessy, you have operational responsibility for defense of the United States homeland. The Missile Defense Review recently enumerated a number of challenges to U.S. missile defenses, including cruise and hypersonic missiles. I am interested in your views on the most pressing priorities in the missile defense arena, as well as what we should be doing to address them.

Lastly, General O’Shaughnessy, I am eager to hear your assessment of the ongoing southern border deployment, and I would appreciate your views on what this Committee can do to ensure that our troops are being deployed in a way that bolsters readiness.

I look forward to your testimony, gentlemen. Senator Reed.

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