WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its subcommittee on defense, today questioned top officials regarding the budget request for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Space Force during a defense subcommittee hearing. During the hearing, The Honorable John P. Roth, Acting Air Force Secretary; General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Air Force Chief of Staff; and General John W. Raymond, Chief of Space Operations testified about the President’s funding justification for the military service branches and to provide an update on challenges they face.
Senator Shelby’s remarks, as prepared, are as follows:
“Thank you Mr. Chairman. Secretary Roth, General Brown, and General Raymond, welcome.
“Thank you for being here today to present your budget for fiscal year 2022, and to provide this committee with an update on the challenges that you face.
“Our nation expects that our military is ready and capable to deter our adversaries and defend the homeland.
“Not only do our adversaries pose new and increasing threats that erode our traditional technological advantages, but the age of some of our most important weapon systems require that we make investments today.
“We must continue to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent, while at the same time developing hypersonic weapons and ensuring that our aircraft can meet the challenges posed by China and Russia.
“I am also interested to hear more from you about how this budget request recognizes the contributions of the Space Force, and the growing importance of operations in space.
“The National Security Space Launch program has been a good investment of taxpayer dollars, and I encourage the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community to continue to use the Space Force launch enterprise for National Security Space Launch-class missions.
“Given that the overall funding request for the Department of Defense does not keep pace with inflation, I am concerned that we are sending the wrong message to both our allies and our adversaries.
“I look forward to hearing how your fiscal year 2022 budget request balances all of these important priorities, thank you.”