President Bush has nominated Air Force Space Command boss Gen. Kevin Chilton to lead US Strategic Command, headquartered at Offutt AFB, Neb. If confirmed by the Senate, Chilton would replace Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright who is headed toward duty as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Chilton, who would be the third Air Force officer to head STRATCOM since its creation in 1992, is a pilot and former astronaut, serving 10 years with NASA, before returning to the Air Force in 1998. He led 8th Air Force before taking over AFSPC in June 2006. To replace Chilton at AFSPC, which has its headquarters at Peterson AFB, Colo., the President has nominated Air Force Lt. Gen. Robert Kehler, who has served since May 2005 as deputy commander at STRATCOM. Kehler began his Air Force career as a missileer and has served in various command assignments in Space Command and planning positions at Air Force.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.