We are back at the beginning: a new year, a new Congress, a new President, and for me - a new leadership position. This week I was given the honor of being named Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. A post not new to Virginia, but new to me. Given the global security environment, this new assignment comes at a critical time.
We know that weâ€™re facing threats at home and abroad not only from terror groups, but from state actors like Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Recently, there has been a lack of strategy and a shortfall of resources in dealing with those threats. As Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, my objective is to ensure we bring the capability of our Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force closer to meeting the reality of the threats facing the United States and to project power around the globe to deter our adversaries.
The Navy recently published its Force Structure Assessment, which calls for a Fleet increase from 270 to 355 ships. This ambitious plan will require the right mix of ships, requirements, timeline, and maritime strategy to execute. Along the way, we must ensure that the ships we already have are properly maintained and retain them to the end of their service life. Specifically, we need to ensure that the ship repair industrial base is properly managed and equipped to maintain optimal efficiency. Although this build-up will take time and a significant investment, I believe it is possible.
The Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee is the right place for me to best serve Virginiaâ€™s First District and the Commonwealth. Not only is Virginia home to the worldâ€™s largest naval station and largest concentration of U.S. Navy forces, it also boasts the shipyards and skilled workers needed to build and maintain the next generation of ships and submarines in our Navyâ€™s fleet. As Chairman, I will have the opportunity to serve both our Nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I want to assure you that I am committed to ensuring that our military remains the greatest fighting force the world has ever known.
As we begin a busy year in the subcommittee, my personal goal is to be a statesman and a servant. Each day, that is what I endeavor to do. And I couldnâ€™t do it without the men and women across Virginiaâ€™s First Congressional District who make the Commonwealth great. In this new beginning, letâ€™s move forward together.
Read local coverage of my new leadership position here:
Virginian Pilot: Rep. Wittman given key defense post, keeping clout in a Virginia's hands
Daily Press: Wittman will chair House sea power panel