Chilton Retiring, Kehler Tapped for STRATCOM

Gen. Kevin Chilton, who has led US Strategic Command since October 2007, will be retiring from the Air Force after 34 years of uniformed service, USAF officials announced Thursday. To replace him at STRATCOM’s helm, President Obama has nominated Gen. Robert Kehler. Kehler has been in charge of Air Force Space Command since October 2007 and was STRATCOM’s deputy commander for two-and-a-half years prior to that. Chilton is a command astronaut pilot with more than 5,000 flight hours. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1976 and then entered undergraduate pilot training in May 1977 at now-closed Williams AFB, Ariz. He flew operational assignments in the RF-4C and F-15 and also had weapons testing duties in the F-4 and F-15. Chilton also served 11 years at NASA, flying on three space shuttle missions, including commanding STS-76, his third shuttle flight. (AFSPC release on Kehler) (DOD release on Kehler)