Saturday, June 14, 2008

Gen. Schwartz Nominated to Lead Air Force

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has nominated the first non-fighter or bomber pilot to lead the U.S. Air Force. He has recommended to President Bush that Gen. Norton Schwartz, a 35-year veteran with a background in special operations, be the next chief of staff of the flying service.

Schwartz, who began his career as a cargo pilot, is currently the commander of the U.S. Transportation Command. If his nomination is confirmed, he will replace Gen. Michael Moseley, who was sacked last week by Gates along with Michael Wynne, the Air Force secretary. Gates held Wynne and Moseley accountable for the erosion in standards regarding the control of the nuclear weapons arsenal in the Air Force. Gates has asked Bush to name Michael Donley the acting secretary at the same time he put his name forward for the permanent role.

Gates also announced a halt to the reduction of personnel in the Air Force. The service began reducing the force in 2006, planning to shrink it from 360,000 to about 316,000 by 2010. Stopping the reduction leaves about 330,000 airmen in uniform.

During a tour of several Air Force bases since dismissing the top leaders, Gates has told airmen he knows they have been at war continuously since 1991 when the Gulf War ended and the Air Force began enforcing the no-fly zones over Iraq.

The service is now involved in both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Your contributions have made a lifesaving difference to those fighting on the ground," Gates told airmen at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please be respectful of others, so they may be respectful to you. Have a blessed day.