The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) will have several new subcommittee leaders in the new Congress after losing some members to retirement and lost midterm elections.
HASC Chair Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) on Wednesday revealed the nominations for subcommittee leaders, subject to full committee approval. Subcommittee assignments have not yet been revealed.
Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) is named the new chair of the HASC Readiness Subcommittee, with Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) leading the Republicans as new ranking member. Garamendi has been a member of the seapower and the strategic forces subcommittees, and also serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, formerly as the ranking member of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee.
Garamendi’s district includes Beale Air Force Base, the host base for the Air Force’s 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which organizes, trains and equips the U-2 Dragon Lady reconnaissance aircraft made by Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Northrop Grumman’s [NOC] RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft. Other units on base include the 940th Air Refueling Wing and the 7th Space Warning Wing, a geographically separated unit of the 21st Space Wing based at Peterson AFB, Colorado and responsible for guarding the West Coast from sea-launched or intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Lamborn’s district includes Peterson AFB – home of Air Force Space Command, U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) – as well as Schriever AFB, the home of the 50th Space Wing, the Air Force Warfare Center and the Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center. Lamborn also represents the Air Force Academy and the Army’s Ft. Carson.
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) previously led the readiness subcommittee with Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) as ranking member. Bordallo lost the Democratic primary in the 2018 midterms. Wilson remains a HASC member.
Former Strategic Forces Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) has been selected as chair, while Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) is the new top Republican on the subcommittee. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) was the previous chair, and had made the creation of a new “Space Corps” within the Air Force one of his top priorities while in the seat.
Turner, whose district includes Wright-Patterson AFB outside Dayton, Ohio, has been a vocal advocate for U.S. missile defense, and was one of two lawmakers present at the Pentagon last Thursday when President Trump unveiled the 2019 Missile Defense Review. Wright-Patterson is the home of multiple Air Force units, as well as centers such as the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center, Air Force Materiel Command and the Air Force Research Laboratory.
Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J.) is the new chair for the Tactical Air and Land Forces subcommittee, as former top Democrat Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.) retired from Congress in 2018. During his tenure on HASC he has advocated for support for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, which houses the 87th Air Base Wing, as well as the 305th and 514th Air Mobility Wings operating the C-17 transport aircraft and KC-10 air refueling operations, the 621st Contingency Response Wing and the 57th Weapons Squadron.
With Turner now leading the Republicans in the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) is taking over the ranking member role for Tactical Air and Land Forces. She previously served as chair of the HASC Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.
Her district includes Whiteman Air Force Base, which hosts the 509th Bomb Wing assigned to the Eighth Air Force as part of Air Force Global Strike Command, operating the Northrop Grumman [NOC]-built B-2 Spirit bomber. Whiteman also hosts Army and Air Force National Guard units and Navy and Air Force Reserve units. Hartzler’s district also includes Ft. Leonard Hood, which hosts the Army’s Maneuver Support Center.
Several committees retained the same leaders from the previous Congress, switched to reflect the new Democratic majority. On the Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, former chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) is now ranking member, while Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) takes the gavel after serving as ranking member.
Likewise, Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) is now the chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee after serving as ranking member since 2015, with Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.) shifting from the chairman seat to ranking member.
For the Military Personnel Subcommittee, former ranking member Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) will take the gavel, and Rep. Trent Kelly (R-Miss.) will become ranking member. Former subcommittee chair Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) lost his reelection race in the 2018 midterms.
Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.), a 30-year Army veteran and former state lieutenant governor, will serve as Vice Chair for the House Armed Services Committee, he said Wednesday.
“As we confront evolving national security challenges, renewed budget uncertainty, and an administration that is upending our alliances and emboldening our competitors, @HASCDemocrats must advance our national security interests and oversight of the administration,” he said on Twitter. Brown was elected to the House in 2016 and served on the HASC Tactical Air and Land Forces and Readiness Subcommittees in the last Congress.