Wilson, Handy Nominations Get Nod

Maj. Gen. Stephen Wilson received the Senate’s nod for promotion to the rank of lieutenant general to head Air Force Global Strike Command at Barksdale AFB, La. He’ll fill the vacancy created with the planned departure of Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, whom President Obama tapped in mid-July to be deputy commander of US Strategic Command at Offutt AFB, Neb. Since June 2011, Wilson has led 8th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) at Barksdale, which oversees Air Force nuclear-capable bomber and associated reconnaissance activities. The Senate approved Wilson’s nomination on Aug. 1, the same day on which senators confirmed the nomination of Maj. Gen. Russell Handy for a third star to command 11th Air Force at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. In this position, Handy will also manage US Pacific Command’s Alaska Command and the Alaskan NORAD region. Obama nominated Handy for the post in late June. Since January 2012, Handy has been Pacific Air Forces’ director of operations, plans, requirements, and programs at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.