Senate Confirms New Vice Chiefs for Air, Space Forces

The Senate on Sept. 30 confirmed two officers to become the new second-in-command generals at the Air Force and Space Force.

Lt. Gen. David W. Allvin will become the next Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, while also rising to four-star general. Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson will likewise receive a promotion to general and become the Space Force’s first Vice Chief of Space Operations.

Allvin will replace Gen. Stephen W. “Seve” Wilson, who became the second-highest officer in July 2016 and is the longest-serving vice chief in the service’s history, according to the Air Force.

Allvin was nominated in August while serving as the Joint Staff’s policy director and a senior member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations’ Military Staff Committee. He has held multiple joint strategy and policy positions across the Joint Staff, U.S. European Command, and Air Force headquarters. He also ran the Tanker Airlift Control Center at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., and led NATO’s Air Training Command in Afghanistan, among other posts.

Allvin coming from a leadership position outside the Air Force to a senior role in the service highlights the Air Force’s increasing prioritization of joint experience.

The incoming VCSAF has accumulated more than 4,600 hours piloting the C-12F, C-141, KC-135, C-17, C-130, C-130J, C-23, F-15, F-16, and T-38. Nearly all of the Air Force’s top brass have been pilots.

The Air Force has not announced Wilson’s next move.

For the Space Force, Thompson has served as vice commander since the new service was created in December 2019. It was a placeholder position while the branch began to figure out its own leadership structure as it evolved out of Air Force Space Command.

Thompson has held a variety of jobs in the space and strategic operations fields since the 1980s, and served as vice commander of the Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.

Senators approved dozens of other confirmations and promotions for the Air Force and Space Force on the last day of fiscal 2021. Notably, Air Force Maj. Gen. James C. Dawkins Jr. will also receive a bump to lieutenant general and assignment as the service’s deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration.

He now oversees the sale of certain fighters, bombers, and missile programs to foreign countries in the Air Force’s acquisition branch, and previously ran the bombers of the 8th Air Force.