North Tapped for PACAF

The Air Force announced yesterday that Lt. Gen. Gary North, who has directed the air wars in Afghanistan and Iraq since February 2006, has been nominated by the President for promotion to four-star general to command Pacific Air Forces. If the Senate approves his nomination, North would take over PACAF from Gen. Howie Chandler, the confirmed last month by the Senate to be the next vice chief of staff of the Air Force. North’s departure was expected as Maj. Gen. Gilmary Hostage has already received the Senate’s approval for a third star and to replace North as commander of Air Forces Central. Unlike during North’s tenure, Hostage will not be the concurrent head of 9th Air Force at Shaw AFB, S.C. Under the Air Force’s now-approved reorganization, that position will be held by a yet-to-be named two star so the Air Force can temporarily separate the overseas warfighting responsibilities of AFCENT from the stateside oversight responsibilities of 9th AF.