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Trump appoints former Boeing executive Shanahan as Defense Secretary

US President Donald Trump has picked up former Boeing executive Patrick Shanahan as Def Secretary.

Shanahan has been serving in the role on an acting basis since the start of the year.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday nominated Patrick Shanahan — already the longest serving acting defense secretary in US history — as Pentagon chief on a permanent basis.

The decision, which ends months of speculation over Shanahan’s place in the administration, comes after the former Boeing executive was cleared of alleged ethics violations.

Shanahan has been in the role on a temporary basis for more than four months, since James Mattis resigned over Trump’s surprise announcement of a rapid withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan and Syria.

“Based on his outstanding service to the country and his demonstrated ability to lead, President Trump intends to nominate Patrick M. Shanahan to be secretary of defense,” a White House statement said.

Before taking on the role, Shanahan spent three decades at Boeing where he earned the nickname “Mr. Fix-It” for putting the problem-riddled Dreamliner project back on track.

Among the challenges he now faces are growing tensions with Iran, renewed missile tests by North Korea and questions about how the US should handle Venezuela’s economic and political crisis.

“I am honored by today’s announcement of President Trump’s intent to nominate,” he said in a statement.

Shanahan said that, if his appointment were confirmed by the Senate, he would continue the “aggressive implementation” of the  Defense Strategy.

“I remain committed to modernizing the force so our remarkable soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines have everything they need to keep our military lethal and our country safe,” said Shanahan.

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