Senate Confirms Schwartz, McNabb

The full Senate Aug. 1 has confirmed Gen. Norton Schwartz to be the next Air Force Chief of Staff and Gen. Duncan McNabb to replace him at US Transportation Command. As we reported earlier (see below), the Senate Armed Services Committee move the two nominations forward, but it held back Michael Donley for Air Force Secretary. Congress Daily reports that Sen. Maria Cantwell told Defense Secretary Robert Gates that she intended to put a hold on Donley to signal her continued frustration over the KC-X tanker program. According to reporter Megan Scully, Cantwell wrote to Gates that Pentagon officials “have not recognized the gravity of the flaws in the tanker acquisition process.” (We’ll have more on the confirmation deliberations in Monday’s column.)