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Senator Ernst to chair Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities

U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), the first female combat veteran to serve in the Senate and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement upon being named the Subcommittee Chair on Emerging Threats and Capabilities:

“I am honored to serve as the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. As a combat veteran, I look forward to drawing on my experiences to implement policy that strengthens our nation’s defense capabilities, both at home and across the globe.

Joni Ernst

“The threats of ISIS and other radical groups continue to grow, all while our nation faces increasing state threats like an aggressive Russia and Iran. We must utilize our international partnerships and allies as we confront these challenges; they too share the responsibility of improving global stability. Additionally, our military must be prepared to address the threats we currently face, as well as any potential future threats.

“As Subcommittee Chairman, I will focus on technology advancements that can upgrade our servicemembers’ weapons systems, ways to counter Russia’s increased aggression, and addressing the rising threat of ISIS’s emerging activities in regions like Southeast Asia. In addition, I look forward to conducting oversight of leading Department of Defense commands, such as Special Operations Command. Each aspect of this subcommittee is of critical importance to our men and women in uniform as well as the safety and security of our nation.”

Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities:

  • Responsibilities: Policies and programs related to intelligence, counter-terrorism, and homeland security.
  • Special additional areas: counter-narcotics, technology base and special operations.
  • Oversight of budget accounts: Technology base RDT&E; operational test and evaluation; RDT&E and procurement supporting special operations; counterdrug programs; RDT&E supporting low-intensity conflict, and peacekeeping operations; combating terrorism; chemical and biological warfare defense; chemical demilitarization; train and equip programs.
  • Oversight of DOD offices: Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence); Assistant Secretary of Defense (Homeland Defense); Assistant Secretary of Defense (Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict); and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering.
  • Oversight of DOD commands and agencies:  Special Operations Command; Northern Command; Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; National Security Agency; Defense Intelligence Agency; National Reconnaissance Office; National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
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