The Senate confirmed the White House candidate for head of the Navy Department in a voice vote on Saturday night.
Carlos Del Toro, a former surface warfare officer, is the latest Defense Ministry service secretary to be confirmed by the Senate.
The Cuban-born Naval Academy graduate served in the Navy for 22 years in uniform before working as a Pentagon civilian and then heading an information technology company in Northern Virginia. He will be the second Hispanic SECNAV after Edward Hidalgo under the Jimmy Carter administration.
“Carlos Del Toro’s lifelong activities and his deep experience in promoting US national security make him well prepared to serve as the 78th Secretary of the Navy,” Secretary of Defense Llyod Austin said in a statement. communicated.
“He understands first-hand the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing our Navy, from solving China’s pace challenge, to modernizing our capabilities, to investing in our most valuable asset – our people. “
Del Toro arrives at the Department of the Navy as the Navy and Marine Corps continue to transform to face more complex maritime threats and sophisticated competitors like China and Russia.
The new secretary is also taking office as the Navy attempts to shape its future with a limited shipbuilding account and civilian leadership turnover. Del Toro will be the department’s fifth head since the start of 2020.
The Navy and Marines will soon sort through the results of the Pentagon’s ongoing global posture review that could reallocate how the United States deploys its forces around the world.
For example, the Navy is locked into supporting ground forces in the Middle East and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan with an almost constant presence of carrier strike groups since mid-2019, while the Chinese operate more in the Western Pacific.
Del Toro will also likely guide the service through another force structure assessment that will determine the size and scope of the Navy.
During his confirmation hearing, Del Toro said he supported a change in the global priorities of the Navy and Marine Corps and said he would advocate for more resources for the department in the next budget.
“I believe that as our nation shifts from a land strategy over the past 20 years to wars in the Middle East to a more dominant maritime strategy in the Pacific – especially in our efforts to deter China – I think Our Navy – The Marine Corps team will need additional resources to be able to fully deploy the combat effectiveness that we will need as a nation to do so, ”Del Toro told lawmakers.“ And I pledge myself – in fact, it is my responsibility – to assert this cause with the office of the Secretary of Defense and the administration for the advancement of the exercise 23 budget, if confirmed.
Del Toro’s confirmation comes nearly seven months after the start of the Biden administration. Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall was confirmed at the end of July and Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth was confirmed at the end of May.