Ernst Questions USAF Nominee on Cost-Savings and Innovation

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a combat veteran, questioned Dr. Heather A. Wilson, nominee to be Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, at her confirmation hearing today. During her questioning, Dr. Wilson committed to work with Senator Ernst to cut wasteful spending and to make it a priority.

Senator Ernst also discussed innovative solutions to rapidly introduce highly lethal, low-cost capabilities to the battlefield. Senator Ernst, who has oversight of Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in her Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, cited SOCOM’s use of commercial off the shelf equipment to update old aircraft and effectively engage the enemy without burdening taxpayers.

Ernst stated, “…why do we spend our millions and millions, or even billions, of dollars on aircraft munitions to destroy a ten thousand dollar pick up in the middle of the desert… I think there are ways that we can refine what we do with innovation and make it very cost-effective as well for our armed services.”


Dr. Wilson said she was open to innovative experiments, while stating the importance of engaging the scientific and technical community to move our nation forward.

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