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SECDEF makes Air Force leadership recommendations

6/9/2008 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today recommended to President Bush his nominations for the top civilian and military leadership positions in the Air Force.

Secretary Gates recommended Michael Donley to serve as secretary of the Air Force and Gen. Norton Schwartz to serve as chief of staff.

Mr. Donley is director of administration and management for the Department of Defense, essentially charged with running the Pentagon and its many complex operations.

He 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. Secretary Gates designated Mr. Donley as acting secretary of the Air Force effective June 21.

General Schwartz is commander of U.S. Transportation Command, which is in charge of the Defense Department's extensive transportation network and worldwide 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 Command.

Secretary Gates also recommended Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Duncan McNabb to succeed General Schwartz at U.S. Transportation Command and for the president to nominate Lt. Gen. William Fraser III as the next Air Force vice chief of staff. General Fraser is now the assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that role he is the chairman's chief liaison and adviser on international relations and political-military matters.

"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," Secretary Gates said.

The Pentagon Channel will broadcast a speech by Secretary Gates at 3:30 p.m. EST today.

He will address nearly 400 members of Air Combat Command during a visit to Langley Air Force Base, Va., his first of three stops at Air Force bases in the next two days.

To watch Secretary Gates' presentation online, visit http://www.defenselink.mil or http://pentagonlive.feedroom.com.

The secretary will speak to about 500 Air Force Space Command members June 10 at Peterson AFB, Colo., and up to 2,000 people at Scott AFB, Ill., headquarters of Air Mobility Command.

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