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politico – Biden to appoint Del Toro as Secretary of the Navy

The White House and the Defense Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Del Toro was born in Havana, immigrated to the United States in 1962, and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1983. His service includes a tour of the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm.

A resident of northern Virginia, Del Toro supporters include Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a Navy booster.

The Biden administration screened several candidates for the job, including Juan Garcia, a former Texas state lawmaker responsible for Navy manpower and reserve issues during the Obama administration. Former Under Secretary of the Navy Janine Davidson and former Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska were also in the race for the job, though both withdrew from the exam.

The appointment is the third and final of Biden’s choices for Civil Service Secretary positions.

Last month, the Senate confirmed Christine Wormuth as Secretary of the Army, making her the first woman to hold the post.

Biden also chose Frank Kendall, a longtime procurement manager, to be Secretary of the Air Force. The Senate Armed Services Committee approved Kendall on Thursday and is awaiting confirmation from the entire Senate.

Navy boosters on Capitol Hill have pushed the White House to appoint a civilian head of the Navy as the Military Services begins to sell the administration’s budget to Congress.

De Toro would enter the Pentagon at a time of transformation for the Navy, which struggles to align fixed budgets with a modernization plan that includes new classes of nuclear-powered submarines, a new 6th-generation fighter and new ones. frigates and destroyers.

The Navy is also working to build a fleet of unmanned ships that can serve as surveillance ships and missile launchers, an effort to bolster the fleet in response to Chinese naval expansion.

All of these programs require initial investments and research and development dollars that rival the massive shipbuilding costs and billions of dollars in maintenance funding for existing ships, many of which were built in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Navy has also struggled to come up with a workable shipbuilding plan and is expected to release its 30-year shipbuilding plan in the coming days.

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