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Acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning made a half-joking plea Monday that the Senate stop blocking the filling of long-empty vacancies in the service’s appointed leadership. As soon as USAF comptroller Jamie Morin leaves to become the new Pentagon Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation—as early as this week—only two of the seven USAF civilian appointee jobs will be filled, Fanning said Nov. 18 during an AFA sponsored, Air Force breakfast series in Arlington, Va. “I had to sign out a new succession…last week which details all of those positions. I’m five of them right now,” he wisecracked, adding that he’s had to delegate some jobs to himself. “We’ve got to get the Senate to lift some of these holds and get some of our officials in place,” he said. “It’s…really taxing for institutions and individuals” in such situations to manage multiple jobs, particularly in the midst of such heady budget churn and strategic discussions, Fanning said, adding that it’s already a slow process. “It took me a year to go from nomination to confirmation,” he noted. Deborah James had her confirmation hearing to be the new Secretary in September, but has waited under multiple Senate holds. Besides the top job, now vacant or filled by “acting” personnel are the assistant secretaries for acquisition; environment; installations; logistics and, any day now, comptroller.