Key legislators applaud Senate confirmation of Air Force Secretary Wilson

Heather Wilson

President Donald Trump’s selection of Heather Wilson to serve as secretary of the Air Force was confirmed by the Senate on Monday, drawing praise from U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD).

Wilson, an Air Force Academy graduate and a Rhodes Scholar, served in the Air Force until 1989. She served on the National Security Council under President George H.W. Bush, as a member of the House of Representatives from New Mexico from 1998 to 2009, and most recently as president of the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.

Ernst and Capito both voted in favor of Wilson’s confirmation and played an active role in the confirmation process in the Senate.

Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said she was pleased to see another civilian leadership position filled in the military.

“During her confirmation hearing, I received commitment from Dr. Wilson that she will work with me on my priorities, including finding ways to cut wasteful spending and combatting and preventing military sexual assault and retaliation, and I look forward to working with her on these issues,” Ernst said.

Capito also took to the Senate floor to urge her colleagues to back Wilson’s confirmation.

“Heather’s record of service to our country and her impressive achievements in the public and private sectors make her tremendously qualified for this important position,” Capito said. “Heather and I served together in the House of Representatives, where I saw firsthand what a strong leader and good person she is. She remains a close friend, and I couldn’t have been more proud to vote for her confirmation today. We are fortunate to have a leader, a veteran and a woman like Heather leading the brave men and women of the U.S. Air Force.”

Noem, meanwhile, said Wilson has continuously answered the call to serve and has “exemplified forward-looking vision and bold leadership.”

“I look forward to her bringing that vision and leadership to our Air Force and the airmen who serve our nation. She will serve our country well and make South Dakotans proud.”