Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called members of the Council of Governors yesterday to update them on his trip to Georgia, Florida and Alabama this week, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
The governors are meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
The secretary’s two-day trip focused on future force capabilities such as ballistic missile submarines, the F-35 joint strike fighter and Army helicopter aviation, Kirby said.
In a statement summarizing the call, Kirby said Hagel reiterated his commitment to work with governors as they, too, face a tough fiscal environment. He pledged to consult with them as the department begins to prepare its fiscal year 2016 budget submission, the admiral added.
“The secretary made clear his continued concerns about looming mandatory cuts under sequestration,” the press secretary said. “He asked for the governors' support in making plain to Congress the damage to be done to national security should sequestration remain in effect.”
Hagel thanked the governors for their time and promised to keep them informed, Kirby said, and also suggested more-frequent and less-formal discussions between meetings that already are routinely scheduled.