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Dr. Ashton Carter Confirmed as Defense Secretary, Mississippi Senators Approve

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The next Sec. of Defense for the United States is Dr. Ashton CArter, a current Pentagon employee, physicist, and former deputy Defense Secretary. Both of Mississippi’s senators voted in favor of the confirmation Thursday. The final vote was 93-5.

Both senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, Republicans, issued statement following the vote.

“I’ve met with Dr. Carter and believe he has the intellect and judgment to be a capable Defense Secretary.  I look forward to working with him and our military leaders to ensure that our nation retains the resources and capabilities necessary to protect our security interests.  The budgetary pressures on the Department of Defense remain a cause for concern and a challenge that will take cooperation to address,” said Cochran, chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its Subcommittee on Defense.

“I am pleased that Dr. Carter’s confirmation process was swift and garnered widespread bipartisan support,” said Wicker, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “His record and previous experience at the Pentagon proves that he is capable of doing what it takes to combat the current threats to our national security.

“It is well known that former secretaries of defense under this President have been micromanaged by the White House, making their jobs even more difficult. Only time will tell if the President decides to take a new approach in working with Secretary Carter.”

Carter was chosen by Pres. Obama to replace Chuck Hagel, who resigned last year.

Wicker said his meeting in January with Carter included speaking about issues that affect Mississippi.

“I…spoke to Dr. Carter about issues critical to Mississippi. I was pleased with his answers about the need to have a robust shipbuilding budget, which is vital to our nation’s ability to project power throughout the world. Our world-class shipbuilding facilities on the Gulf Coast are prepared to deliver the warships necessary for our Navy and Marine Corps troops to continue fulfilling their missions.

“We discussed the possibility of the Air Force reversing its shortsighted decision to transfer C-130J aircraft from Keesler Air Force Base. These planes are a vital part of our intra-theater airlift capability. I made it clear to him that I will continue to fight the Air Force’s proposal to make these indefensible long-term force structure changes.”


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