Just a few days after the Senate finalized some long-awaited Defense Department nominees, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee will hold confirmation hearings for eight more this week in an effort to get key Pentagon posts fully staffed.

The committee on Tuesday will hear from the first four nominees: Robert Storch (to be Inspector General of the Defense Department), Lester Martinez-Lopez (to be the top Pentagon health official), Christopher Lowman (to be assistant secretary of defense for sustainment) and Peter Beshar (to be Air Force general counsel).

The remaining nominees will have their chance before the panel on Thursday. That list includes two nominees for manpower and reserve affairs posts (Franklin Parker for the Navy, Agnes Schaefer for the Army) as well as Ravi Chaudhary to be assistant secretary of Air Force installations and Frank Calvelli to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for space acquisition.

Last week, the three Pentagon nominees that had been pending since October, including Sasha Baker, policy deputy for the Defense Secretary. Lawmakers have lamented the slow pace of defense nominations over the last year, blaming both the Senate and the White House.

Tuesday, Feb. 15

Senate Armed Services — 9:30 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Nominations
The committee will consider several nominations, including Christopher Lowman to be assistant secretary of defense for sustainment.

House Foreign Affairs — 2 p.m. — online hearing
International cooperation
State Department officials will testify on U.S. engagement with international organizations.

Wednesday, Feb. 16

Senate Foreign Relations — 10 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Balkan nations
State Department officials will testify on the current security situation in the western Balkans.

House Foreign Affairs — 1:30 p.m. — online hearing
Investment in Africa
Outside experts will testify on U.S. investment in African nations.

Senate Foreign Relations — 2 p.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Colombia
State Department officials will testify on current diplomatic ties between the United States and Colombia.

Thursday, Feb. 17

House Foreign Affairs — 10 a.m. — online hearing
Burma
State Department officials will testify on the situation in Burma one year after a military coup there.

Senate Armed Services — 10 a.m. — G-50 Dirksen
Nominations
The committee will consider several nominations, including Franklin Parker to be assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs and Agnes Schaefer to be assistant secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs.

Senate Homeland Security — 10:15 a.m. — 342 Dirksen
Biosecurity
Federal officials will discuss potential gaps in U.S. biosecurity efforts.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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