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October 05, 2021

Inhofe Delivers Opening Remarks at SASC Nomination Hearing for Department of the Army and Air Force Civilian Leaders

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today delivered opening remarks at a committee hearing to consider the nominations of four civilian nominees for the Departments of the Army and Air Force. 

Nominees include: Gabe Camarillo to be Under Secretary of the Army; Rachel Jacobson to be Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy, Installations and Environment; Alex Wagner to be Assistant Secretary for the Air Force for Manpower and Reserve Affairs; and Andrew Hunter to be Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

As Prepared for Delivery: 

Thank you, Chairman Reed, and thanks to our witnesses for being with us and for their willingness to serve the nation.   

The world is more dangerous and complex than at any point in our lifetimes. The threats from China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have all gotten worse since 2018.  

Plus, the threat of radical Islamic terrorism is now certain to rise. As General McKenzie told us last week: “The war on terror is not over, and the war in Afghanistan is not over.”    

We will face an evolving and accelerating threat from terrorists who want to strike our homeland. As General Milley said, “The Taliban sitting in Kabul significantly emboldens the radical jihadi movement globally.”

This Committee’s top priority has been ensuring we effectively implement the National Defense Strategy of 2018, which deals with all five of those threats, and more. 

All these threats aren’t in the 2040 timeframe. They’re happening now. And we’re behind. 

Insufficient and uncertain funding has hamstrung our military for years. We must put our money where our mouth is and resource the strategy with real growth of 3-5% per year.   

That is why this Committee increased the defense topline by $25 billion in this year’s defense authorization bill.  

We need to accelerate advanced technologies, from hypersonic weapons, to biotechnologies and quantum computing. 

Our commanders tell us that by 2025, the Chinese will have more fifth-generation stealth fighters on the frontline than we do. Our days of airpower dominance are long gone.  

The nation, and the Department of Defense, must tackle these problems head on if we hope to defend our way of life from those who would do us harm. 

The Department requires strong civilian leadership that I hope you will provide, if confirmed.  

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

Mr. Chairman.  

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