The Senate has approved the nomination of Erin Conaton, Air Force undersecretary since March 2010, to be the new undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness. The Senate confirmed her for the post on May 24, some four months after President Obama nominated her. There’s been no official word on whom the White House is eyeing to replace Conaton in the Air Force Secretariat—or whether a nomination would even come prior to November’s Presidential election. Along with Conaton, the Senate also confirmed on that same day the nominations of Frank Kendall to be the Defense Department’s acquisition czar and James Miller to be undersecretary of defense for policy. (See also Conaton, Kendall, Miller Nominations Move Forward.)
The Collaborative Combat Aircraft will be operational in the late 2020s, several years before the Next-Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force officials told the House Armed Services tactical aviation panel. The CCAs will first be “shooters,” then electronic warfare platforms, then sensors, in that order, they added.