On Friday, the Senate confirmed General James Mattis to be the new Secretary of Defense hours after President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Earlier that day, Trump signed legislation granting Mattis a one-time exemption from the law requiring the Secretary of Defense to not be employed by the armed services for at least seven years.
Earlier this week, the Senate began confirmation hearings to vet President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees. General James Mattis, the Secretary of Defense nominee, received broad bipartisan support after taking a strong stance against Russia and vowing his support for the Iran nuclear agreement. General John F. Kelly, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Homeland Security, also received widespread support after insisting that his top priority would be to secure the southern border.
President Elect Trump has made strong remarks about indicating a desire to increase the U.S. Navy’s ship count by 28%, from its current 274 to 350. Based on these remarks, the U.S. Navy stands to be a substantial ‘winner’ in gaining additional funding in the coming years. Trump’s recent comment referring to China as an enemy of the U.S. would create an increased need for a strong presence in the Pacific Ocean.
Since October 1st, the United States has already eclipsed the GFY2016’s total foreign weapon sales by almost $12 billion, bringing the total to $45.2 billion. The sharp increase can be attributed to 72 F-15s sold to Qatar and 32 F-18s sold to Kuwait.
On Wednesday, President-Elect Donald Trump met with Boeing CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, and Lockheed Martin CEO, Marillyn Hewson, to discuss cost reductions to Air Force One and F-35 fighter jets. Both aircraft manufacturers came under fire earlier this month after Trump tweeted that the costs for those aircraft are ”out of control”.
Boeing recently announced that it will move its’ Defense, Space, & Security business unit headquarters from St. Louis, Missouri to the Washington, D.C. area next year. While only ~12 individuals from the senior leadership team will initially be transferred to the new headquarters,
After months of culminating dissent between Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus about naval procurement strategy, the Navy has rejected the Pentagon’s proposed $17 billion in budget cuts over the next five years. Pentagon leaders want funding allocated more to weapon systems, aircraft and less on ship procurement.
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have agreed on a $619 billion defense budget for 2017, which will be finalized with votes over the next week. This bill marks a $3.2 billion increase over President Obama’s budget request. Democrats had pushed for an equal increase in domestic spending, but the provision was not accepted.