‘You Broke the Military’: Milley, Austin Set for Second Congressional Grilling on Afghanistan

Top American military leaders are set for another round of intense congressional grilling on Wednesday, following a day-long Tuesday session that at times featured blistering criticism of their part in the U.S. exit from Afghanistan.

The Tuesday hearing placed on the griddle Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin; U.S. Central Command Chief Gen. Frank McKenzie; and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.

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House Armed Services Committee Passes Bill Protecting Three Guided Missile Cruisers Based in Virginia

A major defense bill passed out of the House Armed Services Committee Thursday, with spending for Virginia. Congressman Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) said that Republicans led an effort to include an amendment that, in part protects three guided-missile cruisers based in Virginia from decommissioning. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2022 passed 57 to two. It includes a top-line spending level of $740 billion, up from President Joe Biden’s proposed $715 billion, according to Defense News.

“While defense is often and rightfully viewed as a national priority, here in Virginia, this additional funding fuels economic growth and the creation of jobs. This growth will further translate to funding for state priorities such as roads, schools, and law enforcement. With many of these ships built, maintained and repaired in Virginia, the Commonwealth’s economy especially stands to benefit from the passage of the FY22 NDAA,” Wittman said in a press release.

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Virginia Congressional Delegation Asks Navy to Keep Ships Homeported in Hampton Roads

Virginia’s congressional delegation, led by Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Virginia-01), is warning the Navy not to forget the East Coast and Norfolk Naval Shipyard as international military and commercial dynamics draw attention to China and Russia.

“As we pivot towards the Indo-Pacific in our global force posture, it comes as no surprise that we’ve bolstered our presence on our Western Seaboard through increases in homeported ships. This increased presence is of such magnitude that San Diego has eclipsed Norfolk in the sheer number of homeported ships,” the delegation wrote in a letter to Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday.

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Bipartisan House Leaders Say National Guard Presence at Capitol Is Unwarranted

The Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Armed Services Committee called the current National Guard deployment on Capitol Hill unwarranted.

Democratic Rep. Adam Smith and Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, the committee’s respective chairman and ranking member, asked the Department of Defense to implement a “measured drawdown” of the guardsmen stationed at the Capitol in a joint statement Thursday.

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