Pentagon Nominates New AFGSC Commander, New Deputy CSO for Operations

President Joe Biden nominated a pair of Air Force and Space Force generals for promotion and assignment to critical new roles, the Pentagon announced Oct. 12.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas A. Bussiere is nominated for a fourth star and to be the next commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, while Space Force Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt is to receive a third star and take over as deputy chief of space operations for operations, cyber, and nuclear.

If confirmed, Bussiere would replace Air Force Gen. Anthony J. Cotton, already confirmed by the Senate to become head of U.S. Strategic Command; Burt, if confirmed, would succeed Lt. Gen. Chance B. Saltzman, also already confirmed to become only the second Space Force Chief of Space Operations.

Bussiere has been deputy commander at U.S. STRATCOM since April 2020. A command pilot, he has flown F-15s, F-22s, B-1s, and B-2s, and commanded at the at Squadron, Group, Wing, and Numbered Air Force levels. He led bomber squadrons and the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., the Eighth and Eleventh Air Forces, and U.S. Northern Command’s Alaska Command. He also has experience at AFGSC headquarters, having been special assistant to the commander and inspector general in two prior stints.

Burt is currently special assistant to Space Force Chief Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, who is to retire in November when Saltzman replaces him. But Burt moved to that post only recently, having previously commanded the Combined Force Space Component Command, a multi-national subordinate command of f U.S. Space Command, where she was dual-hatted as vice commander of Space Operations Command. She was succeeded in that post in August by Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Schiess.

Burt’s prior commands include the 2nd Space Operations Squadron, the 460th Operations Group, and the 50th Space Wing, and she was director of operations and communications for Space Operations Command.

Should Burt be confirmed, she would join a small cadre of three-star generals in the Space Force’s ranks—there are currently six total. She would also join Lt. Gen. Nina M. Armagno as the only female three-stars in the service.