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March 15, 2005


Says, “Secretary Principi is Highly Qualified for the Job”

WASHINGTON--- Today Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) heard testimony in the Senate Armed Services Committee from the nominee for BRAC Commission Chairman, Anthony J. Principi. Additionally, President Bush today submitted the names of the other eight nominees to fill the remaining seats on the Base Relocation And Closure (BRAC) Commission. The Senate Armed Services Committee will soon hold confirmation hearings for the remaining eight nominees.

“Secretary Principi is a man of unquestionable character with an extensive and honorable career both as a soldier and as a public servant,” Inhofe said. “I had the opportunity to speak with him today and I can say that I have the highest faith that he will conduct this commission in a non-partisan and non-political fashion. He has command of the criteria for the process and I am very confident that Americans will be well served by his leadership.

“I am also very pleased with the additional eight nominees for the BRAC Commission. Within this field there are three individuals that I have known for many, many years: Jim Bilbray, James Hansen, and Sam Skinner.

“I am confident that the BRAC Commission will recognize our very strong evidence as to why our Oklahoma bases should remain a part of the National Security establishment. In my position on the Senate Armed Services Committee I can assure you that I will be a part of every discussion on this very important topic.”

Anthony J. Principi is currently the vice president of Government Relations of the Pfizer Corporation and will maintain that post throughout the BRAC commission process. Prior to his post at the Pfizer Corp., Sec. Principi was the Secretary of Veterans Affairs confirmed by the Senate on January 23, 2001 and held that post until December of 2004.A combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, Mr. Principi has worked on national policy issues and has held several executive-level positions in federal government throughout his career. The Senate Armed Services Committee will soon hold confirmation hearings for the following eight nominees:

James H. Bilbray of Nevada. Former Congressman Bilbray was a member of the Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1955 to 1963.

Philip Coyle of California. Mr. Coyle is a Senior Advisor to the Center for Defense Information. He served as Assistant Secretary of Defense and Director of Operational Test and Evaluation at the Department of Defense.

Admiral Harold W. Gehman, Jr., USN (Ret.) of Virginia. Admiral Gehman served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for over 35 years. His last assignment was as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic and as the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Joint Forces Command.

James V. Hansen of Utah. Former Congressman Hansen was a member of the Armed Services Committee. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955.

General James T. Hill, USA (Ret.) of Florida. General Hill served in the U.S. Army for 36 years. His last assignment was as Combatant Commander of the U.S. Southern Command.

Samuel Knox Skinner of Illinois. Mr. Skinner served as Chief of Staff and as Secretary of Transportation for President George H. W. Bush. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1960 to 1968.

Brigadier General Sue Ellen Turner, USAF (Ret.) of Texas. General Turner is a member of the American Battle Monuments Commission. She served in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years, most recently as the director of nursing services in the Office of the Air Force Surgeon General at Bolling Air Force Base.


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