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Shelton To Lead Space Command

UPDATED: OSD Makes Shelton Nom Official, Breedlove Picked For Air Vice Chief

Lt. Gen. William Shelton,  Air Force assistant vice chief of staff and air staff director, will be nominated for a fourth star and has been proposed to lead Air Force Space Command.

A key factor in Shelton's promotion may well be that he played what one source says was "a key" role in the February 2008 shoot down of US 193, the highly classified but failed reconnaissance satellite. At the time, Shelton was commander of Strategic Command's joint functional component command for space. Marine Gen. Hoss Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led the team that executed the satellite's destruction. Also, the operation involved close coordination between the National Reconnaissance Office, the Air Force and the Navy. All this highlights what is clearly a strong ability on Shelton's part to execute joint operations, something Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz both highly prize.

Shelton's job will be crucial over the next few years as the number of satellite launches is due to increase and a steady hand needs to be kept on the tiller of Space and Missile Systems Center to ensure that the improvements in space acquisition over the last two years remain on course.

In addition to Shelton's nomination, the Pentagon formally announced today that Lt. Gen. Philip M. Breedlove has been nominated for promotion to general and the job of Air Force vice chief of staff. He is deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements. Lt. Gen. Herbert J. Carlisle will replace Breedlove.  Carlisle is commander of Thirteenth Air Force at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. Maj. Gen. Stanley T. Kresge has been nominated to replace Carlisle and for promotion to lieutenant general. He is commander of the Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

Finally, Lt. Gen. Richard Y. Newton has been nominated as assistant vice chief of staff and director of the Air Staff. He is Air Force deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel.

We had reported rumors that Gen. Kevin “Chilli” Chilton, head of Strategic Command, would become Air Force Chief of Staff. As he has since retired, that is obviously not going to happen.

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