Conaton, Kendall, Miller Nominations Move Forward

The Senate Armed Services Committee on May 15 approved the nominations of Erin Conaton to oversee Pentagon personnel and readiness issues, Frank Kendall to be the Defense Department’s weapons czar, and James Miller to manage defense policy, reported Reuters (via the Chicago Tribune). The full Senate must still vote on these nominations. Conaton, tapped for the new post in January, has been the Air Force’s undersecretary since March 2010. Kendall currently serves as the acting weapons czar, while Miller has been the principal deputy in the Pentagon’s policy shop since 2009. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), SASC ranking member, had previously vowed to hold up these nominations until the Defense Department complied with provisions in the Fiscal 2012 Defense Authorization Act, such as delivering a study by outside analysts on the proposed realignment of US military forces from Okinawa to Guam.