An otherwise sleepy confirmation hearing for Defense Secretary nominee Mark Esper was jolted from its legislative stupor after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) grilled the former Raytheon lobbyist on ethical issues regarding his involvement with his former employer.
After months of delays, the Trump administration finally has a new Secretary of the Army. Dr. Mark T. Esper, an Army veteran and chief lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon since 2010, was confirmed by a 89-6 vote in the Senate on Nov. 15, becoming the 23rd person to hold the office since its creation in 1947. As Army secretary, the perennial Washington defense insider will now oversee everything from manpower and personnel to weapons systems and equipment acquisition for a fighting force on the brink of its biggest shakeup since the Vietnam War.
Since the Tomahawk cruise missile made its combat debut in 1991, more than 2,000 missiles have been launched in support of U.S. combat operations,according to Raytheon, the munition’s current producer.