Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune participated in today's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to receive the testimony of Michael B. Donley, the President's nominee to be Secretary of the Air Force, as well as Air Force Chief of Staff nominee General Norton Schwartz and United States Transportation Command nominee General Duncan McNabb.

"Today's Armed Services Committee hearing gave me and other Senators another opportunity to learn about the vision these men have for the future of the Air Force," said Thune. "If confirmed, these gentlemen will take command of the Air Force at a challenging time. During the hearing, General Schwartz noted how vital our current fleet of B-1s has been to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and indicated his commitment to maintaining our current bomber fleet's readiness while working to field a next generation bomber by 2018."

In their testimony, both Acting Secretary Donley and General Schwartz testified as to how "absolutely essential" the Air National Guard has been since September 11th and how the Air Force will continue to combine active duty and National Guard units under the Air Force's Total Force Initiative. Both nominees also laid out their visions for continuing an important Air Force Energy program to adopt innovative, environmentally-friendly, domestic solutions to the military's energy needs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, of which Senator Thune is a member, must vote to confirm the nominees before they can be considered by the full Senate.

"As these nominees move through the confirmation process, I will continue to advocate for South Dakota's Air Force and Air National Guard installations to maintain their important roles within the service," said Thune.