HomeNewsArticle Display

SecAF nominee testifies before Congress

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C.  In her opening statement, Wilson said, "We have the liberty to enjoy our blessings because thousands of America's best citizens volunteer to protect the rest of us."  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C. In her opening statement, Wilson said, "We have the liberty to enjoy our blessings because thousands of America's best citizens volunteer to protect the rest of us." (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C.  In her opening statement, Wilson said, "We have the liberty to enjoy our blessings because thousands of America's best citizens volunteer to protect the rest of us."  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C. In her opening statement, Wilson said, "We have the liberty to enjoy our blessings because thousands of America's best citizens volunteer to protect the rest of us." (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C.  In her opening statement, Wilson said, "We have the liberty to enjoy our blessings because thousands of America's best citizens volunteer to protect the rest of us."  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C. In her opening statement, Wilson said, "We have the liberty to enjoy our blessings because thousands of America's best citizens volunteer to protect the rest of us." (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C.  In her opening statement, Wilson said, "We have the liberty to enjoy our blessings because thousands of America's best citizens volunteer to protect the rest of us."  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C. In her opening statement, Wilson said, "We have the liberty to enjoy our blessings because thousands of America's best citizens volunteer to protect the rest of us." (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C.  In her opening statement, Wilson said, "We have the liberty to enjoy our blessings because thousands of America's best citizens volunteer to protect the rest of us."  (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C. In her opening statement, Wilson said, "We have the liberty to enjoy our blessings because thousands of America's best citizens volunteer to protect the rest of us." (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C.  Seated with her were Senators John Thune, left, and Mike Rounds, both from South Dakota. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

Secretary of the Air Force nominee Heather Wilson testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as a part of the confirmation process March 30, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Seated with her were Senators John Thune, left, and Mike Rounds, both from South Dakota. (U.S. Air Force photo/Scott M. Ash)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Heather Wilson testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee during her confirmation hearing for secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D.C., March 30, 2017.

The Air Force veteran and former New Mexico representative was introduced by Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds of South Dakota.

“If confirmed, she will become the first Air Force Academy graduate in history to serve as the secretary of the Air Force,” Thune said.

She has served on the National Security staff for President George W. Bush and is currently the president of the South Dakota School for Mines and Technology.

“People who worked with her in South Dakota described her as a great manager and inspiring leader,” Rounds said. “South Dakota’s loss will be our nation’s gain.”

As secretary of the Air Force, Wilson said she will modernize fighters, tankers, bombers, intelligence platforms, the nuclear deterrent force, munitions, space capabilities and more.

“If confirmed, I will work with the secretary of defense and the United States Congress to restore the readiness of the force,” she said. “I will also work with Congress to address constraints imposed by the Budget Control Act so that the Air Force can be cost-effectively modernized.”

Wilson, the first female veteran to serve in Congress, addressed several topics, including the pilot shortage across the total force.

“We are short fighter pilots,” she said. “The Air Force is not currently ready to fight against a near-peer competitor, and that should concern all of us.”

Wilson said if confirmed as secretary of the Air Force, she will focus on innovation that supports readiness.

“The pace of change is going to accelerate,” Wilson said. “We’re either going to have to rapidly accelerate ourselves and be able to spin-on innovation to the service, or we’re going to be left behind.”

The nominee for secretary of the Air Force concluded her confirmation hearing stating senior leaders need to think about the full range of potential conflicts.

“From low-intensity warfare through a near-peer adversary and nuclear deterrents,” she said. “There are new techniques, and cyber is one of them, that can be used by both nation states and by terrorists or insurgents to achieve their political objectives … we need to be able to play both offense and defense in all of those realms.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
The nation’s most elite, #USAF #HonorGuard team, recently debuted their 2019 routine! (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemb… https://t.co/QxwpQdczUO
20 @AFSpecOpsCmd #Airmen will ruck from TX to FL in honor of Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, a #SpecialTacticshttps://t.co/bbti0C2Nlm
#Doyouevenlift? We do! @AirMobilityCmd #C17s recently delivered #hope on its way to the man-made humanitarian crisi… https://t.co/b1GicnXJ3l
.@AFWERX & @Techstars announce the 10 companies participating in #techaccelerator. See how they're working to solve… https://t.co/BCdoR4Cmmt
RT @DeptofDefense: These probably aren’t the FRIES you’re used to. @USArmy Special Forces operators practice their skills with the Fast Ro…
RT @AFEnergy: From installations, to propulsion, to maintenance, to research... engineers are critical to every part of the @usairforce mis…
.@HAFB #Airmen and the F-35 are a lethal combo during exercise Red Flag. For more about the exercise:… https://t.co/nc7F82hPI8
A B-2 Spirit bomber, deployed from @Whiteman_AFB, is staged on the flightline @JointBasePHH, Jan. 30, 2019. (… https://t.co/SVPJe2AfGH
#USAF, @USMC & @USArmy air & ground force elements train together, strengthen skills in the field and sky. #Jointhttps://t.co/Arm1IXIaDy
#DYK: @DMAFB is one of seven #AirForce bases w/forward area refueling point capabilities, and there are only 63 qua… https://t.co/UI2SzoYdjA
RT @AirMobilityCmd: Anyone out there watch Super Bowl LIII? Well, @USNorthernCmd and NORAD fighter aircraft kept the airspace safe during t…
#AirForce formalizes policy on retention of non-deployable Airmen. https://t.co/O8yfj5acRt https://t.co/7t5ynNMgo2
It's a 2-way street! Find out how our #ProfessionalDevelopment Teams are a benefit to both mentor and mentee.… https://t.co/nxmtpZWnis
.@30thSpaceWing civilians use #innovation, reutilization, and team dynamics to save #USAF $1 billion.… https://t.co/TpFKYvaxay
.@374AirliftWing #Airmen are leading the way, learning how the M50 gas mask works w/other #USAF large-frame aircraf… https://t.co/n3cuh1OQnd
“Being self-aware and keeping my mental composure through very intense situations was key.” - Senior #Airman Jeffre… https://t.co/DM22RiBKNN
Citing health, safety concerns, @SecAFOfficial and @GenDaveGoldfein order commanders to conduct ‘100% review’ of al… https://t.co/DzvwOAQDvH
The 6 finalists of @SecAFOfficial’s #SparkTank initiative will showcase their ideas to #USAF senior leaders at… https://t.co/s9PUuNa3BN