Opening Statement (As Prepared)

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Thank you, Chairman Waltz. It is an honor to be here today as Vice Ranking Member. General Van Ovost, it was great to meet with you on Friday. Admiral Phillips, thank you for coming before our committee to discuss the important work of the Maritime Administration.

Strategic mobility has always been a strength of the United States, unmatched by any adversary. TRANSCOM has the unique ability to work across combatant commands, our services, the private sector, and our allies, to achieve both military and diplomatic goals of the United States. Most recently, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, TRANSCOM has transported equipment, artillery, armor, troops, and other aid that has made a critical difference for Ukrainian fighting against Russian aggression.

But, despite having unparalleled capabilities in strategic mobility, China and Russia are catching up—not just in the INDOPACOM theater, but in SOUTHCOM and AFRICOM as well. Russia and China have done much to expand cyber and anti-access/area-denial capabilities, along with expanding their geopolitical influence across the globe. And, in this critical time, our airlift, sealift, and air refueling capabilities are aging and we are critically short on civilian mariners.

Now more than ever, it is critical that TRANSCOM and MARAD have the resources they need to ensure we retain our advantage. I look forward to hearing your views on how we can ensure our mobility enterprise remains unmatched across the globe.  With that, I yield back, Mr. Chairman.