“Congratulations to you, your family. And look forward to going to Redstone and Fort Novosel and Anniston in near future.”
WASHINGTON — In a Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hearing yesterday, U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) questioned President Biden’s nominee for Chief of Staff to the Army, General Randy George. Senator Tuberville asked General George about the military recruitment shortcomings, long running assault aircrafts, the Anniston Army Depot, and Ukraine funding.
Excerpts from Senator Tuberville’s speech can be found below, and his full remarks can be viewed here.
TUBERVILLE: “General, thanks for being here. You and your family, thanks for your service. As we talked about yesterday, we want to try to keep politics out of out of your business. You don’t need that, and I apologize for what you’ve had to go through this morning. Some of your hearing times, you shouldn’t have gone through that because you can’t control that. Okay. So, but I thank you for being here. But you’re going to find out in your recruiting. We’ve talked about recruiting today. Your three biggest hurdles are going to be politicians, the media, and social media. That’s going to be your three biggest problems. I’ve gone through that before. Not in the military, but also in coaching. And so, there’s some things that you’re going to have to fight through. I just want a little story of about a year ago. I tell you a sad story. One of the big things that we get here that you get satisfaction from is to be able to nominate young men and women to the military academies, which is awesome. I mean, it’s awesome accomplishment. They worked for it all their life. They put their heart and soul into it. And I called a young man last year in Alabama, and it’s been his lifelong goal. He perfect in every score and in school and he said, Coach, I’m going to turn it down. I’ve read too much in the media about what’s going on. I don’t want any part of it. That’s the direction that we’re headed in this country. We need kids like him to be in the military, not force them out because of too much dang politics. So good luck to you. And I think you’re going to do an awesome job. I want to ask you about the future long running assault aircraft, the new helicopter that we’re getting ready to start. And you’re going to be the recipient of that. What’s your thoughts about it? You know, the decision that we made, you know, with the dual rotor.”
GEORGE: “You’re talking of Flora?”
TUBERVILLE: “Yeah, Flora.”
GEORGE: “I think that that helicopter, obviously, that the ones that we’ve had, and I’ve been, you know, on for the last 20 years are great. This one, you’re going to get double the speed, double the range, and have the ability to upgrade them from them. I think that that will be a significant improvement. And as I mentioned up front, we have to constantly be looking to evolve and I think that this will help us, definitely help us to do that.”
TUBERVILLE: “You think that’s going to help us in the Indo-Pacific? You know, the army being involved if there happens to be a future conflict?”
GEORGE: “I do, yes, Senator.”
TUBERVILLE: “Because of the size, speed?”
GEORGE: “I think the size and the speed and getting and moving things around. Yes, Senator.”
TUBERVILLE: “Thank you. You know, tomorrow, you know, I’ll be meeting with General Hamilton, you know, the commander of the Army Materiel Command, and he’s you know, Anniston Depot is a designated center of industrial and technology excellence for vehicles such as the M1 Abrams tank and the Stryker. The depot has teammates deployed around the world in direct support of our nation War fighters providing service and repairs in the field, especially in this time of the conflict we’re having in Europe. General, what’s being done to ensure that the depots around the country can meet the current forecasted workload to replenish what we’re losing now?”
GEORGE: “Senator, first, as I mentioned to you, I think we’re super proud of Anniston. A lot of what ends up in in Ukraine has been touched by the great workforce that’s, that’s down there at Anniston. And also helping with all of the logistics is also coming out of Redstone. We are in the process of updating the industrial base that it’s critically important to the army, really to the joint force and to our nation. We have a long-range plan to do that, and we’ve kind of broken it up in interim increments to prioritize what we can do. We had spent a good amount $1.5 billion out of our budget. Thanks to Congress, we got an additional 1.6 billion. And I think, you know, we’re continuing to look at that and what we need to do to pull it left. It’s oftentimes not as easy as just going out and fixing everything all at once, because we also have to continue to do what we’re doing at Anniston. So, you have to figure out how you’re upgrading it while continuing the mission.”
TUBERVILLE: “You know, I’m amazed at how many people it takes to run a tank, not the people inside, but the people that follow along the fuel, the maintenance mechanics. I mean, it is it is unbelievable just looking through that scenario. But again, congratulations to you, your family. And look forward to going to Redstone and Fort Novosel and Anniston in near future. Thank you.”
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.