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Senate Committee Slates Confirmation Hearings for Defense Nominees

Army Staff Sgt. Michael J. Carden - American Forces Press Service

Four people nominated to serve in the Defense Department in President-elect Barack Obama's administration will appear before the Senate Armed Forces Committee on Jan. 15 for confirmation hearings, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said today.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates appreciates the expediency with which the committee arranged the hearings, Morrell told Pentagon reporters.

The nominees are:

  • Bill Lynn, senior vice president for Raytheon Co., as deputy defense secretary;
  • Michele Flournoy, who co-founded the Center for a New American Security and helped design the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review for the Clinton administration, as undersecretary of defense for policy;
  • Robert Hale, executive director of the American Society of Military Comptrollers who served as an assistant Air Force secretary during the Clinton administration, as the Pentagon's chief financial officer and comptroller; and
  • Jeh Charles Johnson, general counsel of the Air Force during the Clinton administration, as general counsel.

"The secretary emerged from interviews with all four of those individuals, impressed with their professional credentials, as well as their personal character," Morrell said. "He is grateful they have agreed to serve the nation and urges the Senate to confirm them as soon as possible after the inauguration, so as to help him ensure a smooth transfer of power within the department as we continue to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Gates is scheduled to appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee Jan. 27 to testify on the challenges facing the Defense Department as Obama takes office, Morrell said.

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