WASHINGTON — Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Thursday was grilled by members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a hearing on the Pentagon’s budget request for fiscal year 2020.
Alongside Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist, Shanahan defended the Trump’s administration’s $750 billion funding request for national defense and controversial moves by the White House to include $174 billion of the request in the war fund known as Overseas Contingency Operations, or OCO, and to use military construction funds to pay for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
During several exchanges with lawmakers, Shanahan also brought up the administration’s proposal to create a Space Force and listed space as one area that is getting more attention and resources.
“I would highlight in this year’s budget three major structural changes. The first is space,” said Shanahan. “Space Force itself is intended to accelerate dramatically our capabilities to defend.” The other two areas are hypersonic weapons and cyber warfare.
In budget documents the Pentagon released on Tuesday, DoD said it is requesting $14.1 billion for space, $2.6 billion for hypersonic weapons technology and $9.6 billion for cyber.
The cost ...