Lt. Gen. Gregory Guillot is nominated to become the next four-star head of U.S. Northern Command, the military organization tasked with homeland defense and operations as far north as the Arctic, the Pentagon announced Wednesday.
Guillot currently serves as the No. 2 officer at U.S. Central Command.
An air battle manager by trade, he has logged more than 1,380 hours on command-and-control and reconnaissance aircraft like the E-3 Sentry airborne target tracking jet and the RC-135 Rivet Joint planes used to spy on electronic communications, track ballistic missile launches and detect radiation.
Guillot’s experience may lend a unique perspective to the military’s effort to create a new network of aircraft, missile defense systems and other sensors that can protect against foreign attacks on U.S. soil.
Before arriving at U.S. Central Command last August, he worked as NORTHCOM’s operations director and the Air Force’s top leader in CENTCOM, held senior staff roles at Pacific Air Forces, and commanded the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, and 55th Wing at Offutt AFB, Nebraska.
His nomination to lead NORTHCOM is part of a broad reshuffling of general officers across the Defense Department as some of the nation’s most senior military leaders head into retirement.
If confirmed by the Senate, Guillot would replace Air Force Gen. Glen VanHerck, who has served in the role since August 2020.
The NORTHCOM commander is one of 11 generals in charge of daily military operations at combatant commands around the world, and one of six leading a geographic region.
The same officer also oversees the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the joint U.S.‐Canada group tasked with tracking airborne threats to the continent over land and at sea.
The command is most known for intercepting foreign military jets on the outskirts of U.S. airspace and, earlier this year, for its role in tracking and downing a high-altitude balloon that American officials believed was a Chinese spy aircraft.
Wednesday’s announcement also noted multiple other Air Force general officers tapped for new jobs:
- Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Kruse, the military adviser to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, to lead the Defense Intelligence Agency
- Lt. Gen. Donna Shipton, the Air Force’s top uniformed acquisition officer, to lead the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
- Maj. Gen. Heath Collins, the executive officer for ground-based weapons programs at the Missile Defense Agency, to become the agency’s three-star director
- Maj. Gen. Michael Koscheski, head of 15th Air Force, to become the three-star deputy commander of Air Combat Command at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia
Hundreds of military nominees are on hold in the Senate as part of a pressure campaign by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., to force the Pentagon to rescind a policy that provides travel funds and support for troops and dependents who seek out-of-state abortions.
Rachel Cohen joined Air Force Times as senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in Air Force Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), the Washington Post, and others.