U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., released the following statement after meeting with Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel today:
"Today in my meeting with former Senator and Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel we discussed the need to strengthen Louisiana's military assets and installations, including Barksdale Air Force Base, the Joint Readiness Training Center at Ft. Polk, and Federal City, home of the Marine Corps Reserves. I was particularly encouraged when Mr. Hagel said that he is very aware of the Global Strike Command at Barksdale, is a "huge supporter of the National Guard,' and is very familiar with the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, one of the most effective programs for helping high school dropouts get their lives back on track.
We also discussed our critical alliance with Israel and the need to move beyond just military collaboration to collaboration on energy production, research and security. I have been working to strengthen ties between world-renowned universities in Israel and Louisiana to build a research platform for traditional and renewable energy. Sharing our countries' expertise in research and production and working together on future discoveries is mutually beneficial for the U.S. and Israel and our energy security. I am also confident that Mr. Hagel is committed to the security of Israel and appreciates the grave danger that Iran poses to Israel, regional stability and the United States.
Mr. Hagel was a well-respected senator and has the knowledge and experience necessary to lead the Department of Defense. I will support his confirmation."