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Carter Hails Choice for Northcom Post as ‘Pioneer, Trailblazer’

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WASHINGTON, March 18, 2016 — The Air Force general President Barack Obama intends to nominate as the first woman to lead a U.S. combatant command has been a “pioneer and trailblazer from her first days as an officer” who has served the nation with distinction, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today.

This morning, the secretary announced that Gen. Lori J. Robinson, currently commander of Pacific Air Forces, would be nominated to take command of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, subject to Senate confirmation.

‘Supremely Qualified’

Robinson's “remarkable abilities as a commander and strategist have been proven over more than three decades of dedicated service to the U.S. Air Force,” Carter said in a statement. Her most recent responsibilities as air component commander for U.S. Pacific Command, leading more than 45,000 airmen and overseeing operations at an intense operational tempo covering half the globe, have demonstrated that she is supremely qualified to lead NORAD and Northcom, he added. 

“General Robinson has excelled in a wide array of leadership positions where training, force structure, and readiness are paramount," Carter said. 'Her deep operational experience will enable the men and women of NORAD and Northcom to continue building upon the excellence they have demonstrated under [Navy] Adm. William Gortney's strong and steady leadership in this critical command."