Jul 27, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from Defcon Hill: The White House’s nominee to be the next Air Force chief of staff was blocked in the Senate after a hold was placed to prevent the nomination from advancing on unanimous consent Thursday.
The GOP-proposed hold will at least temporarily delay the nomination of Gen. Mark Welsh to replace Gen. Norton Schwartz as Air Force Chief.
The nomination “is still pending on the executive calendar,” according to an Air Force official. It remains unclear which Republican senators stonewalled Welsh’s bid to become the new air service chief.
Welsh, who headed up the Air Force’s European command, is set to replace Schwartz when the four-star general steps down as service chief on Aug. 10.
Welsh’s nomination was approved by the Armed Services Committee on Wednesday along with a host of others, including Gen. Frank Grass, to become the next National Guard chief and Lt. Gen. John Kelly as the new head of United States Southern Command.
Grass and Kelly were approved by unanimous consent on the floor Thursday.
Grass is currently the No. 2 officer at Northern Command and Vice Commander at North American Aerospace Defense Command. Kelly currently serves as the senior military assistant to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. John Sheets confirmed to The Hill that Welsh’s nomination was put on hold, but he said the Air Force was not certain who had placed the hold.