Chuck & Ash

By Tony Bertuca / January 8, 2015 at 3:05 PM

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel met with Ashton Carter at the Pentagon today, the first time the two have met face-to-face since Carter was nominated to succeed Hagel in early December, according to a short statement from Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Defense Department's chief spokesman.

"The meeting gave both leaders a chance to get reacquainted and to discuss wide-ranging issues of importance to the Defense Department," Kirby said.

The discussion likely included America's ongoing campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the approaching budget crunch expected from the onset of sequestration in fiscal year 2016 should Congress fail to avert it.

Congressional officials have said that Carter's nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to occur in the first week of February -- the same time the FY-16 budget request is scheduled to be released -- though no firm date has been set.

Carter previously served as Hagel's deputy before stepping down in December 2013. President Obama nominated Carter to become defense secretary one year later.

Carter has also served as the Pentagon's chief acquisition executive.