Senate confirms Biden’s pick for Navy secretary
The Senate has confirmed President Biden’s pick for Navy secretary, Carlos Del Toro, making him the second Hispanic secretary in the Navy’s history and filling the final service secretary position.
Del Toro was confirmed by voice vote on Saturday evening, shortly before senators wrapped up their work for the day.
A Cuban-born Naval Academy graduate, Del Toro has commanded the USS Bulkeley destroyer and deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm.
He has been running SBG Technology Solutions, a Virginia-based government contractor that he founded.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement that Del Toro’s “lifelong pursuits and deep experience advancing America’s national security make him well-prepared to serve as the 78th Secretary of the Navy.”
“As an immigrant who has dedicated his life to public service, Carlos exemplifies the core values of honor, courage, and commitment in defense of our country,” Austin said.
Former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus also applauded del Toro’s confirmation on Twitter.
“Carlos del Toro confirmed as SecNav. Fair winds and following seas. Best post in government,” Mabus said.
Carlos del Toro confirmed as SecNav. Fair winds and following seas. Best post in government
— Ray Mabus (@SECNAV75) August 8, 2021
Del Toro’s confirmation comes as naval power is expected to be a point of U.S. competition with China.
During his confirmation hearing, Del Toro pledged to be “exclusively focused” on China.
“I am going to be exclusively focused on the China threat and exclusively focused in moving our maritime strategy forward in order to protect Taiwan and all of our national security interests in the Indo-Pacific theater,” he said.
The Navy has struggled to meet congressional demands for a 355-ship fleet. Del Toro said he supported this goal, and vowed to push for resources for the Navy in the fiscal 2023 budget.
The Senate Armed Service Committee advanced Del Toro’s nomination in late July before sending it to the full chamber for a vote.
Del Toro is now the second Hispanic secretary to lead the Navy, following Edward Hidalgo during the Carter administration, according to the U.S. Naval Institute’s online news site.
His confirmation comes after Frank Kendall was confirmed as Air Force secretary in June, and Army Secretary Christine Wormuth was confirmed in May.
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