President Obama has nominated Maj. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, Air Force Research Lab commander at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, to receive a third star for her new assignment as head of the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., Air Force officials announced Thursday. Pawlikowski will replace Lt. Gen. John Sheridan, who has led SMC since May 2008 and intends to retire after about 36 years of service. Pawlikowski has been in charge at AFRL since last February. She’s no stranger to SMC, having been its vice commander from July 2007 to May 2008. Prior to that, she ran SMC’s Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.