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USAF names new Space, Mobility command heads

Mar. 11, 2014 - 03:32PM   |  
Lt. Gen. John Hyten
Lt. Gen. John Hyten (US Air Force)
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Lt. Gen. Darren McDew (US Air Force)

WASHINGTON — The Air Force on Tuesday nominated the next leaders of its Space and Mobility commands.

Lt. Gen. John Hyten has been nominated to take over Space Command from Gen. William Shelton, who took oversight on the services space-based programs in January of 2011. As the current vice commander for Space Command, Hyten is unlikely to shake up much of what his predecessor has done.

Hyten takes over Space Command at a critical point in the service’s space planning. Shelton has been a champion of “disaggregation,” moving away from major space platforms in favor of smaller, more survivable capabilities. Because of the timetables involved in space programs, the service is starting to lay the groundwork to move toward disaggregation with an eye on 2025 to launch the first major programs; Hyten will now guide that development.

Lt. Gen. Darren McDew will take over Air Mobility Command from Gen. Paul Selva, President Obama’s nominee to take over US Transportation Command.

McDew is currently the commander of the 18th Air Force, where he oversees 37,000 personnel and approximately 1,100 aircraft. He assumed that role in August 2012. He also has extensive experience interfacing with leadership outside the Air Force, including serving as an Air Force aide to President Bill Clinton from 1994-1996 and as a Senate liaison for the service.

In addition to Hyten and McDew, the service announced two colonels would be promoted to brigadier general. Col. Jeffrey Rockwell will receive his first star and become the deputy judge advocate general, while Col. Kathleen Cook will also be moving to the Pentagon as the service’s director for public affairs.

Cook is another move from Space Command, where she has spent years coordinating public affairs.

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