Deborah Lee James has been confirmed by the US Senate, which clears the way for her to be sworn in later this month as the newest Secretary of the Air Force.
“On behalf of the more than 690,000 men and women of the U.S. Air Force, I want to welcome Secretary James to our Air Force family,” Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said in a Dec. 13 statement. “I’m confident that she’ll lead us with the same vision and passion she’s shown throughout her public service and private sector leadership, building on the extraordinary accomplishments of our Acting Secretary Eric Fanning, who has magnificently led our Air Force these last few months.”
Acting Secretary Eric Fanning has been filling in since Secretary Donley retired in June.
Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has lifted her hold on the nomination of Ms. Deborah Lee James to the position of Secretary of the Air Force:
An Ayotte aide told Defense News on Thursday that Ayotte will no longer stand in the way of Debroah Lee James’ nomination after carefully reviewing data provided in response to question she submitted to the Air Force.
Part of that data included responses from the Air Force that it could save “billions” of dollars by cutting an entire fleet, rather than “millions” by reducing it or making cuts elsewhere.
General Mark Welsh, Air Force Chief of Staff, provided some personal insight: Read more
Michael Weinstein was once jokingly referred to as the new Secretary of the Air Force after his apparent easy access to — and influence of — Air Force leaders was revealed. It seems Weinstein himself is now trying to fulfill that “role.”
On 19 September Ms. Deborah Lee James, nominee for Secretary of the Air Force, testified at the Senate Armed Services Committee and was asked several questions about military religious freedom by Senator David Vitter (R-La).
As noted in the Air Force Times — not in their news, but in commentator Robert Dorr’s opinion column — Vitter brought up several “documented cases” of restrictions on religious liberty:
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., asked James if it’s acceptable for an airman to have a Bible on his desk or for a chaplain to end a prayer “in Jesus’ name.”…
James told Vitter: “Having a Bible on your desk, that doesn’t seem like it should be banned.”
James’ answer is consistent with what the Air Force has officially said to date. In May of this year, Air Force spokeswoman LtCol Laura Tingley told blogger William Throckmorton, in response to that same allegation: Read more
The confirmation of Ms. Deborah Lee James, nominee for Secretary of the Air Force, has been delayed (previously discussed) as Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has continued her “hold” over the issue of A-10s in the Air Force:
An aide to the New Hampshire Republican told Defense News on Tuesday that the senator felt the Air Force failed to sufficiently answer her questions about the A-10 plans. Therefore, Ayotte has decided to keep what’s known as a hold on Deborah Lee James’ nomination, the aide said.
Ayotte has previously said she is concerned the Air Force would retire the A-10 — which her Air Force husband flew — without a suitable replacement for the mission.
On her website, Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) buttresses her national defense credentials by noting she was a military spouse of an A-10 pilot.
Now that the Air Force has basically said it wants to get rid of the A-10 (again), Senator Ayotte has put a “hold” on the nomination of Ms. Deborah Lee James to the position of Secretary of the Air Force:
She…views this as a readiness issue. Until we have Read more