Click here to watch.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Ranking Member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, released the following statement after Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said during today’s committee hearing that they were not consulted on plans to cancel a Nuclear Sea Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM-N):

“I am extremely concerned by the acting Secretary of the Navy’s decision to direct the cancellation of the Sea Launched Cruise Missile program. This occurred outside of the Department of Defense’s review of nuclear posture and without any consultation. Nuclear deterrence is the department’s highest priority mission and as Secretary Austin expressed to me today, this is not the appropriate way to make decisions about U.S. nuclear policy,” said Senator Fischer.

The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review directed the Department of Defense to begin development of a Sea-Launched Cruise Missile, restoring a capability that had been a component of the U.S. nuclear forces until 2013. Currently, the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy are analyzing the concept.

Click here to read more and here to view Senator Fischer’s exchange with Secretary Austin at today’s hearing.