WASHINGTON – Eighty-two days after being announced as President Donald Trump's pick for deputy secretary of defense, Patrick Shanahan has been formally nominated for the position.
The move, announced Wednesday by the White House, means the Senate can begin the process of scheduling a hearing for the longtime Boeing executive.
The current senior vice president of supply chain operations for Boeing, Shanahan has also served as vice president for both Boeing Missile Defense Systems and the company's rotorcraft division, giving him oversight on programs like the CH-47 Chinook and the AH-64D Apache.
Shanahan is not expected to face headwinds in the Senate, with Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., telling Defense News in April that "we’d certainly like to move forward with [Shanahan]. He’s got an excellent reputation,"
If confirmed, Shanahan would replace Bob Work, perhaps the highest-profile holdover from the Obama administration. Given the pace at which political appointees have been arriving at the Pentagon, Work has been a key cog in the Pentagon machine. And while Shanahan has no previous Pentagon experience, he has been meeting with different groups from within the Department of Defense in order to learn how everything operates.
The White House also formally nominated Ryan McCarthy as undersecretary of the Army. McCarthy is a former Army Ranger, staffer for former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, and now works at Lockheed Martin.
Aaron Mehta was deputy editor and senior Pentagon correspondent for Defense News, covering policy, strategy and acquisition at the highest levels of the Defense Department and its international partners.