Biden taps female admiral to lead US Navy in historic first

Biden taps female admiral to lead US Navy in historic first

Adm. Lisa Franchetti 'will again make history,' says US president

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - US President Joe Biden nominated Friday Adm. Lisa Franchetti to lead the Navy in what could mark the historic elevation of a woman to lead the US Navy, and join the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Franchetti's nomination requires approval in the US Senate where Sen. Tommy Tuberville continues to hold up hundreds of military nominees in protest of a Pentagon policy that pays for service members and their dependents to travel to receive reproductive health care, including abortions, in states where it is available.

Franchetti has served in the military for nearly four decades, most recently serving the Vice Chief of Naval Operations.

"Throughout her career, Admiral Franchetti has demonstrated extensive expertise in both the operational and policy arenas," Biden said in a statement.

"She is the second woman ever to achieve the rank of four-star admiral in the United States Navy, and when confirmed, she will again make history as the first woman to serve as the Chief of Naval Operations and on the Joint Chiefs of Staff," he added.

Biden is nominating Vice Adm. James Kilby to assume Franchetti's outgoing post, and Adm. Samuel Paparo for Commander of Indo-Pacific Command and Vice Admiral Stephen Koehler for Commander of US Pacific Fleet.

Biden sharply condemned Tuberville's ongoing hold on nominees for military posts, saying what "he is doing is not only wrong—it is dangerous."

"It has long been an article of faith in this country that supporting our servicemembers and their families, and providing for the strength of our national defense, transcends politics," said Biden.

"In this moment of rapidly evolving security environments and intense competition, he is risking our ability to ensure that the United States Armed Forces remain the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. And his Republican colleagues in the Senate know it," he added.

The Pentagon instituted its reproductive health travel policy in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark legal ruling that had enshrined federal abortion protections across the country for half a century.

Last week, the Pentagon said as many as 650 military leadership positions could be vacant by year's end without a resolution to the impasse. There are roughly 265 general and flag officer positions that are stalled in the Senate by Tuberville, including the head of the US Marine Corps.

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