The Senate on May 26 confirmed multiple high-level Air Force nominations, including the new chief of Air Force Reserve Command. Maj. Gen. Maryanne Miller was confirmed by voice vote to be the next chief of AFRC, where she had served as deputy. She will replace Lt. Gen. JJ Jackson who has led the command since July 2012. Maj. Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach was confirmed to be the commander of Alaskan Command and 11th Air Force. He will replace Lt. Gen. Russell Handy who is serving as the interim commander of Pacific Air Forces following Gen. Lori Robinson’s move to US Northern Command. Lt. Gen. Charles Brown, currently the commander of Air Forces Central Command, also was confirmed to be the next deputy commander of US Central Command.
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.