House Armed Services Committee Democrats today elected Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) to chair the panel's air and land forces subcommittee and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) to head the terrorism, unconventional threats and capabilities subcommittee.
Smith takes the place of Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), who retired from the panel, and Sanchez will take Smith's place.
"I am confident that Congressman Smith and Congresswoman Sanchez will continue to serve our committee and our country well as they take on these new leadership responsibilities. I look forward to working with them in their new roles as the House Armed Services Committee begins work on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011," committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) said in a statement, adding:
I want to express my gratitude to Congressman Neil Abercrombie for serving Hawaii and our country for more than 19 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. On the House Armed Services Committee, Neil's hallmark has been making sure our troops have the equipment they need to protect our country and stay safe. His leadership helped prompt the Pentagon to speed up the delivery of life-saving body armor and ((Mine Resistant Ambush Protected)) vehicles to our forces on the frontlines. I have been honored to serve with Neil, and I will greatly miss his wise counsel, his good humor, and his loyal friendship. I know Congressman Abercrombie will continue to be a forceful and effective advocate on behalf of Hawaii's needs and interests.