by Stephen Carlson
Washington (UPI) Jul 20, 2017
The Trump administration plans to nominate Raytheon vice president of government relations Mark Esper for secretary of the Army, according to several published reports.
Esper has headed Raytheon's lobbying efforts since 2010. He is a former lieutenant colonel in the Army and a veteran of the first Persian Gulf War who has previously served as a administrator on the department of defense and as a national security and legislative advisor for several senators including Chuck Hagel and former Senate Majority leader Bill Frist.
Esper is the third selection made by the administration for the post.
The first pick, Wall Street trader and businessman Vincent VIola, dropped out due to financial entanglements involving federal contracts. Viola is a West Point graduate and former major in the Army Reserves.
The second pick, Tenn. State Senator and former Army flight surgeon Mark Green, withdrew his name after criticism from activists and Democrats for past statements he made on LGBT issues.
Esper would mark another top Department of Defense official to hold deep industry ties that lead to concerns over conflicts of interest. Former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan was confirmed as deputy secretary of defense on Tuesday.
Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., as well as other senators including Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Corey Booker, D-N.J., has expressed opposition to placing industry executives in top defense postings. McCain was absent for Shanahan's confirmation vote due to surgery, and his recent cancer diagnosis makes his role in Esper's confirmation uncertain.
Washington (UPI) Jul 11, 2017
The U.S. State Department has approved potential foreign military sales to Australia worth a total $151.4 million for F/A-18 Super Hornet upgrades and 120mm tank ammunition. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced both sales on Tuesday. The ammuntion sale, at a cost of about $50 million, would deliver nearly 15,000 rounds of 120mm training ammunition for use by the Aust ... read more
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