Joint, Unified Moves

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced yesterday during a news conference in the Pentagon that he is recommending to President Obama that Adm. Mike Mullen and Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright stay on for another two year as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and vice chairman, respectively. Gates said he is also recommending that Adm. Robert Willard, commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, become the leader of US Pacific Command, taking over from Adm. Timothy Keating, who has held the post since March 2007. And, Gates wants to install Adm. James Stavridis, currently commander of US Southern Command, as the next head of US European Command, succeeding Army Gen. Bantz Craddock. If confirmed by the Senate, Stavridis would be the first naval officer to hold the command in Europe. Chosen to replace Stavridis is Air Force Lt. Gen. Douglas Fraser, who is currently deputy commander of PACOM (see above). Gates said, if these general officers are confirmed for their new posts, they would take up their commands “over the next several months.” (AFPS report by Jim Garamone)