Air Force leadership remains unsettled after staff dismissals
The new leadership of the Air Force, after a dramatic ousting of the top civilian and military heads of the service, isn't quite in place. According to the Air Force Times, Gen. Norton Schwartz, tapped to be the new chief of staff, replacing Gen....
The new leadership of the Air Force, after a dramatic ousting of the top civilian and military heads of the service, isn't quite in place.
According to the Air Force Times, Gen. Norton Schwartz, tapped to be the new chief of staff, replacing Gen. Michael Moseley, was confirmed by the Senate but needs to be appointed formally by President Bush. That won't happen for another week or more, Air Force officials say. Meanwhile, Michael Donley's nomination to be secretary of the Air Force, replacing Michael Wynne, is "bogged down" in the Senate's armed services committee. Since the Senate went on August recess, that nomination can't be confirmed until mid-September at the earliest, the Air Force Times reported Tuesday.
Wynne and Moseley were quickly removed from office this summer after embarrassing gaffes by Air Force personnel in the handling of nuclear weapons, including a B-52 crew from Minot Air Force base.
Meanwhile, Donley remains acting secretary and Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Duncan McNabb, confirmed Friday to take over Schwartz's post at the U.S. Transportation Command, is running the Air Force until Schwartz gets the presidential appointment.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has made clear his displeasure with the way things have gone in the Air Force, according to news reports.
For example, he's decided to turn over the bidding process for the new generation of air-refueling tankers to a Pentagon official, instead of having the Air Force do it.
The contract awarded earlier this year to EADS, over Boeing, was withdrawn after a report by the Government Accountability Office that said things were done incorrectly in the bidding process.
It not only gives Boeing another shot at what could end up being billions in funding to make 500 or more new tankers, but will delay the production of the new tanker to replace the aging fleet of KC-135s.
The Air Force Times reported that Gates is disappointed he doesn't have the new Air Force leadership team in place already.