Asks President To Nominate Donley, Schwartz For New Roles
US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
announced Monday the two men he would like President Bush to
nominate to replace General T. Michael Moseley and Michael W. Wynne
in the top military and civilian posts in the US Air Force. As ANN reported, Gates asked
for the resignations of both men last Thursday, following an
investigation casting doubt on the focus and performance of the Air
Force's nuclear program.
"I recommended that Michael Donley be nominated to serve as
Secretary of the Air Force," Gates said. "Mike Donley is presently
the Director of Administration and Management for the Department of
Defense, essentially charged with running the Pentagon and its many
complex operations. Mike served as Assistant Secretary of the Air
Force for Financial Management in the first Bush Administration
and, for a period, as Acting Secretary of the Air Force. In order
to minimize any disruption caused by this leadership transition, I
have also recommended to the President that he designate Mike
Donley as Acting Secretary of the Air Force effective June 21."
If nominated and confirmed, Donley would return to the Air Force
after serving most recently as Pentagon director of administration
and management. He served as Acting Secretary of the USAF for seven
months in 1993, during President Clinton's first term.
"I further recommended to the President that General Norton
Schwartz be nominated to serve as Air Force Chief of Staff," Gates
added. "General Schwartz is presently the Commander of US
Transportation Command, which is in charge of the Department's
extensive transportation network and world-wide operations. Prior
to that, General Schwartz served in senior joint military positions
as Director of the Joint Staff, Director for Operations for the
Joint Staff and Deputy Commander of Special Operations
According to the Associated Press, if Schwartz is nominated it
would mark the first time in over 25 years a former fighter pilot
won't be in charge of the Air Force... yet another sign Gates wants
to thoroughly overhaul the USAF, after what he and others consider
to be a series of high-level missteps and blunders.
Gates (shown below) also recommended two Air Force officers to
replace Donley and Schwartz in their current positions, should his
recommendations be confirmed for their new roles in the USAF.
"First, General Duncan McNabb, the current Air Force Vice Chief
of Staff, has been recommended to take General Schwartz's place at
US Transportation Command. General McNabb has spent most of his
three-plus decades in the Air Force in the areas of lift, refueling
and logistics -- making him an ideal candidate to assume the helm
of this command," Gates said.
"Second, I have recommended that the President nominate
Lieutenant General William Fraser III, to follow General McNabb as
the next Air Force Vice Chief. General Fraser is currently the
Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that
role he is the Chairman's chief liaison and advisor on
international relations and political-military matters. In addition
to his numerous flying and command assignment in the bomber
community, General Fraser has extensive wartime, contingency and
humanitarian relief operational experience.
"I am confident that Mike Donley, General Schwartz and the new
Air Force leadership team have the qualifications, skill and
commitment to excellence necessary to guide the Air Force through
this transition and beyond," Gates said.