WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a combat veteran and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, issued the following statement after President Trump announced his intent to nominate Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to serve as Secretary of Defense:

“It’s critically important that we have a Senate confirmed Secretary of Defense, especially given the growing tensions with Iran. I’ve worked closely with Mark Esper in his role as Secretary of the Army and believe he has demonstrated strong leadership. As we consider his nomination in the Senate, I look forward to hearing more about Secretary Esper’s vision for all branches of our nation’s military.”