Panel confirms first female officer for war fighting command
The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved the nomination of the first female officer to lead one of the military’s warfighting commands.
Members of the panel April 26 confirmed Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson to be commander of U.S. Northern Command. The panel acted on a voice vote. The command is responsible for preventing attacks against the United States.
Robinson joined the Air Force in 1982 after graduating from the University of New Hampshire. She’s currently serving as commander of Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii.
The committee also confirmed Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti to be the top American commander in Europe and Army Gen. Vincent Brooks to lead U.S. forces in Korea.
Their nominations now go to the full Senate for approval. AP
Italian official: No military intervention planned for Libya
An Italian senator says no military intervention is “on the agenda” for Libya.
Senate defense commission president Nicola Latorre’s remarks April 26 came a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she and leaders of the United States, France and Britain had discussed the possibility of expanding military efforts to stop the smuggling of migrants across the Mediterranean.
Smugglers’ boats launched from Libya’s shores have sent hundreds of thousands of migrants toward Italy in the last three years.
Merkel has emphasized that the leaders didn’t discuss concrete proposals for a NATO mission off Libya.
Latorre said Libya’s stabilization is crucial for security and for managing the migrant flow. He also urged support for the new government in the oil-rich nation, where the Islamic State group has been gaining ground. AP
Senator says fighter program has been scandal, tragedy
The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee says the record and performance of the most expensive weapons program in U.S. military history has been a scandal and a tragedy.
Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., delivered a withering critique of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at a committee hearing April 26.
The Pentagon plans to spend close to $400 billion to buy nearly 2,500 F-35s for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The budget request for fiscal year 2017 includes $8.3 billion to buy 63 aircraft.
McCain says the aircraft’s development schedule has stretched to 15 years, deliveries of the F-35 have been delayed, and costs have skyrocketed.
McCain also says he’s disturbed that it costs $70 million annually to run the office that oversees the F-35 program. AP