ARLINGTON, Va. -- Lt. Gen. Stanley E. "Sid" Clarke III, commander of the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region and 1st Air Force, has been confirmed by the Senate to be the next director of the Air National Guard.
Clarke will replace Lt. Gen. Harry "Bud" Wyatt, who is retiring this month. Wyatt has led the Air National Guard since February 2009.
Clarke said he is eager to take charge of an organization that comprises 106,000 people.
"I look forward to the opportunity to lead the best Air National Guard in our nation's history," he said. "The Air National Guard, and the 106,000 men and women who make it work, has served our nation and our communities with great distinction in combat and during numerous domestic crises."
Wyatt, who intends to retire to his home in Oklahoma, said Clarke is the right person, at the right time.
"Sid has served here at the Pentagon and has a wealth of command and staff experience," Wyatt observed. "He will help shape and guide the Air Guard as we forge ahead to the future."
As Air Guard Director, Clarke will be responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, plans and programs affecting more than 106,000 Air Guard members in more than 88 flying wings and 200 geographically separated units throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.
Clarke is no stranger to key leadership positions. He has served as the Deputy Director of the Air National Guard and as the Assistant Adjutant General for Air for the Alabama Air National Guard. At 1st Air Force, he commanded four direct reporting units, 10 aligned Air National Guard units, and a large number of active air defense alert sites -- including aircraft, air defense artillery, and up to 15,000 active duty, National Guard, Air Force Reserve and civilian personnel.
Clarke is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flight hours, including more than 100 in combat, in the T-38, C-26, A-10 and F-16. Prior to his NORAD assignment, Clarke served as the Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché in Turkey. The general was commissioned in 1981 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at the University of Georgia. He has served in various operational and staff assignments including duty as an A-10 and F-16 instructor pilot. He also has commanded a squadron, fighter wing and air expeditionary wing.