Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Senate confirms Keene High graduate Heather Wilson as Trump's Air Force secretary

Senate confirms Keene High graduate Heather Wilson as Trump's Air Force secretary

The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Heather Wilson as Air Force Secretary, the first service secretary nominee to be approved by Congress.

Wilson, an Air Force veteran and former congresswoman from New Mexico, received bipartisan backing on the floor despite concerns over her company's consulting work for the National Nuclear Security Administration. She earned masters and doctoral degrees as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England and served on the National Security Council Staff under President George H.W. Bush.

I was pleased to meet with Dr. Wilson earlier this year to discuss her priorities for the Air Force, including readiness and hiring challenges as well as controlling the costs of major acquisitions.

Mark Green, Trump's second choice for Army Secretary dropped his bid last week after his anti-minority remarks came to light.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

25 2017 shows a US F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Amari Air Base Estonia
25 2017 shows a US F-35A Lightning II aircraft at Amari Air Base Estonia

The Trump administration has been slow to fill many other senior civilian posts at the Pentagon, leaving Defense Secretary Jim Mattis short of the support he needs to manage the nation's vast military enterprise.

Wilson, 56, has been president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology since 2013.

Wilson, a former congresswoman from New Mexico, was expected to easily clear the upper chamber. Heinrich, who faced Wilson in 2012 as an opponent for his current Senate seat, voted to advance her nomination to the full Senate as part of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Trump's first selection for U.S. Navy secretary withdrew his name because of possible conflicts of interest with financial entanglements, as did Trump's first U.S. Army secretary pick.

Wilson denied any wrongdoing and said the Department of Energy Inspector General never contacted her. She will be the first Secretary of the Air Force to graduate from the military academy. She had also promised the Defense Department's general counsel, to divest the stocks she held in companies that work with the US military, including Intel and IBM. Her priorities for the Air Force include updating and restoring aircraft, modernizing the Air Force and the increased development of young leaders.

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