President Obama has nominated Lt. Gen. James "Mike" Holmes to lead Air Combat Command, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
It’s the second major leadership shift this week after Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters Wednesday that Lt. Gen. John "Jay" Raymond has been nominated to lead Space Command.
If confirmed, Holmes would pin on his fourth star and take leadership of the organization responsible for supplying fighter, conventional bomber, and intelligence and surveillance assets to combatant commanders worldwide.
In that role, Holmes would also oversee much of the support for Operation Inherent Resolve and the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group.
Lt. Gen. James "Mike" Holmes, deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, says the top budget priority for 2018 is adding end strength. Holmes, who has been nominated to head Air Combat Command, will pin on a fourth star if confirmed.Photo Credit: Air ForceHolmes is currently serving as the deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and requirements, a position he’s held since August 2014.
Holmes has commanded a number of air wings and air combat wings, including the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing in Afghanistan, and the 4th Fighter Wing out of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.
He is a former F-15 pilot with more than 500 combat hours. Holmes joined the Air Force in 1981, and has received the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with oak leaf, and the Bronze Star, among other decorations.
The Air Force has not released what the next assignment might be for the current head of ACC, Gen. Herbert "Hawk" Carlisle.
The U.S. Air Force is pivoting from orchestrating the massive exodus of over 124,000 Afghans and Americans from a country once again under Taliban rule, to a quieter role helping even more people leave on commercial and privately organized flights.