Senate Confirms Air Force’s Highest-Ranking Officer

The blockade in promoting top military leaders during a time of ‘urgent challenges’ has hurt U.S. military readiness, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said.

General David Allvin, Air Force vice chief of staff, speaks with Air Force and Space Force ROTC cadets and newly commissioned officers at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on July 14. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

After months of blockade, the U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Air Force General David Allvin as chief of staff, the service's highest-ranking uniformed officer. 

Allvin's confirmation joined that of Navy Admiral Lisa Franchetti as chief of naval operations and Lieutenant General Christopher Mahoney as assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. These top military leadership roles had remained unfilled for months after Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) attempted to block military nominations and promotions in an attempt to protest the Department of Defense's abortion travel policy.

Allvin, who has been an Air Force officer for 37 years, previously served as vice chief of staff. He is a command pilot with more than 4,600 flight hours in more than 30 aircraft, including 800 test flights and 100 hours in combat, according to the service.

"On behalf of the Department of the Air Force, we welcome General Allvin as the 23rd chief of staff of the Air Force,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in a statement. “He has guided many of our most important initiatives to improve the Air Force, including recruiting and operations.” 

While the confirmations are a step forward, hundreds more remain logjammed, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday.

"But we still have more than 370 superbly qualified leaders who have seen their nominations unnecessarily stalled," Austin said. "As we face a variety of urgent challenges, the most powerful fighting force in history must be at full strength. This unprecedented delay in confirming our military's top leaders has hurt our military's readiness and unnecessarily weighed down our military families who already give up so much to support those who serve."

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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