Non-pilot to be new commander of US Air Force in Pacific

Instead of achievement or performance criteria, the U. S. military under Obama is making personnel decisions based on political criteria of “diversity.”

The latest case in point:

Although all previous Air Force combatant commanders in active large theaters of operation — the Pacific, Europe and Central Command — have been combat pilots, for the first time a non-career pilot has been nominated to be Commander of the U. S. Air Force in the Pacific.

She is Lt. Gen. Lori J. Robinson who, although she’s had more than 900 flight hours, is not a career or combat pilot.

Lt. Gen. Lori RobinsonLt. Gen. Lori J. Robinson

Rowan Scarborough reports for The Washington Times, July 17, 2014:

The White House has picked the first female general to head the Air Force in the Pacific, which will make her the first non-pilot to command air power in such a large theater of operation.

The Pentagon announced this week that Air Force Lt. Gen. Lori J. Robinson has been nominated for promotion to four-star general and as commander of Pacific Air Forces, the Air Force component of U.S. Pacific Command. It is a major combatant command whose air, ground and naval forces have broad responsibility for security in the Asia-Pacific region. Her nomination was sent to the Senate for confirmation.

Officials said pilots historically have commanded Air Force war-fighting components for the Pacific and for U.S. Air Forces Europe; Air Forces Central, which covers the Middle East and Afghanistan; and the 1st Air Force, which is part of Northern Command and protects U.S. skies.

Gen. Robinson is not a career pilot. Her military profession is air battle manager. She has served aboard the Air Force’s surveillance aircraft, the E-3 AWACs and E-8 JSTARS, and she was nominated for a promotion amid a drive for more diversity in the Pentagon.

A retired pilot said there is a reason the Air Force historically has put a pilot in charge of large combatant command Air Forces.

“It is because you make operational decisions that require the understanding of what you are going to ask pilots to execute in combat where the wrong decisions mean the difference between life and death,” the retired pilot said. “Now her vice commander and director of operations will be rated fighter pilots, but still she makes the decisions.”

Rose Richeson, an Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon, said, “The Air Force operates across three domains: air, space and cyberspace and provides capability and capacity in five core mission areas: Air and Space Superiority, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, Rapid Global Mobility, Global Strike and Command and Control. Lt. Gen. Robinson has demonstrated knowledge and experience across the entire spectrum of these mission areas as well as recent operational application supporting coalition activities for United States Central Command.”

Gen. Robinson is now vice commander of Air Force Air Combat Command, which oversees the service’s fleet of bombers and fighters, and maintains readiness.

In the Pacific, she is replacing Gen. Herbert Carlisle, a career F-15 pilot who is assuming leadership of Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia.

An Air Combat Command spokesman said career air battle managers, such as Gen. Robinson, “principally provide command and control in the battle space and aid combat aircraft in finding, identifying and engaging their targets. They provide pilots with a tactical picture, which increases their capability by enhancing situational awareness. ABMs also provide early warning for inbound enemy aircraft and direct friendly assets to intercept them.”

The Air Combat Command history office and Air Force representatives said all previous Air Force combatant commanders in active large theaters of operation — the Pacific, Europe and Central Command — have been combat pilots.

However, Gen. Robinson would not be the first female officer to command an Air Force component. From 2010 to 2012, Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, a career transport pilot, commanded the 17th Air Force, which was then the Air Force component for Africa Command. She led the air campaign against Libya in 2011. The 17th was disbanded in 2012. Today, a career F-15 pilot commands Air Forces Europe and Africa.

A career navigator heads U.S. Special Operations Command Air Forces. That component operates AC-130 gunships, drones, transports and other aircraft, but does not conduct air campaigns.

Gen. Robinson was nominated amid a diversity push by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and a general focus on women’s issues by the White House. Mr. Hagel has vowed to stamp out sexual assaults in the military and said he is open to studying whether transgender people are permitted to serve.

The military also is preparing to put women in direct land combat units. 

The Navy promoted its first woman this month to four-star rank: Adm. Michelle J. Howard, a surface warship commander, to vice chief of naval operations, the Navy’s second-ranking officer. The Air Force promoted its first woman to four-star rank in 2012, when Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger took over Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The Army’s first female four-star general, Ann Elizabeth Dunwoody, has retired.

To observers, the twin moves to promote a woman to vice chief of naval operations and to place a woman in charge of a major combatant command Air Force means that female officers are destined to be elevated to the six-member Joint Chiefs of Staff, which comprises the four service chiefs, a chairman and a vice chairman.

Women make up 14.5 percent of the active force but only a small percentage of combat pilots, 21 years after the Pentagon lifted the ban on women in those jobs. Of 3,714 Air Force fighter and bomber pilots last year, 85 — or about 2 percent — were women at the rank of lieutenant colonel and below.

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15 responses to “Non-pilot to be new commander of US Air Force in Pacific

  1. Reblogged this on Fellowship of the Minds and commented:
    Obama’s destruction of the U.S. military continues, and Congress will not do a thing to stop it. Why? Because the new commander-nominee is a woman.

    If a woman wants to be Commander of USAF Pacific, all she has to do is to be a career combat pilot. But Lori Robinson is not. Her nomination is rank politics — the Left’s ideology of Affirmative Action over competence and training.


  2. Reblogged this on Catholic Glasses and commented:
    Obama proves he is not sane, by his daily decisions.


  3. Reblogged this on Dead Citizen's Rights Society.


  4. Not to worry, her main concern will only be China. I don’t remember the exact wording, but in a Woodward book, Kissinger told Gen. Haig that if he behaved properly, Henry would get him another star. I had suspected Haig of having earned rank through politics rather than combat. I think that Lt. Gen., soon to be Gen., Robinson has the same credentials going for her.


  5. Will this be a situation where she tells the pilots what to do,then they do what they know NEEDS to be done,regardless of what SHE says?


  6. From where I am sitting, it would seem that her greatest accomplishment is that she has a vagina! I’m not sure how that equates to anything in a combat situation, or would make you an asset during actual fighting. Can you just imagine how others who have actually completed the course and become jet fighters would feel under these circumstances. This is just plain crazy! Just another way of diminishing the effectiveness of our military.


  7. Obama has “fired” more Generals and upper staff in the military than any president in history, and he continues to gut the military at his own discretion unchecked and unchallenged by anyone. Obama is attacking the USA on all fronts. Soon there will be little hope that a free nation will ever exist in the world again.


  8. yeah, she really looks like she inspires confidence. she probably makes a good potato salad though….


  9. Just another middle finger salute to our military. One of many.


  10. Pingback: Non-pilot to be new commander of US Air Force in Pacific |

  11. Regarding my comment yesterday, I miss typed the last line, it should have read, “soon to be Gen., has better credentials going for her.” There can be conflict between a specialty, say, navigator, outranking the pilot, yet having to take orders from the lower ranked pilot. I am sure that Robinson won’t be questioning the skills of fighter pilots in their operations, she will be concerned with strategic matters needed for today, rather than the rubble bouncers of the past.


  12. Having the technical qualificatio9ns to pilot an aircraft becomes increasingly irrelevant above the one-star level in the Air Forde. There was a howl when a navigator with 25 years flying experience was promoted to command a transport squadron. For many years the most important qualification for ANY job above the 0-4 level was “is he a pilot or a former pilot?.” I have heard a two-star general tell a non-rated Captain – “You’re not a pilot. What do you know about the Air Force. I saw an O-5 pilot with zero supervisory experience placed in command of a Security Police squadron. We don’t require an Army General to be able to drive a tank, why must an Air Force general be required to be able to drive an airplane?


  13. Thus ending the cock pit and the opening of the box office.


  14. Pingback: Non-pilot to be new commander of US Air Force in Pacific |

  15. Thank you StMA for this important post. It seems absolutely that anyone appointed to such a high position would be a combat pilot, given that they have to understand what really happens in this capacity in order to lead others. Simulation doesn’t cut it.

    It seems that this is another political maneuver by the king.


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