The Senate on July 26 confirmed Army Lt. Gen. Frank Grass to be the next National Guard Bureau chief and Air Force Maj. Gen. Joseph Lengyel to be vice chief, announced Guard officials. For these positions, Grass will receive a fourth star and Lengyel will add a third star. Grass has been deputy commander of US Northern Command since September 2010. He will become the 27th NGB chief, replacing Gen. Craig McKinley who’s commanded the National Guard since November 2008 and is retiring after some 38 years of Active Duty and Air National Guard service. Lengyel, who’s served since June 2011 as the senior US defense official in Cairo, will be the first three-star NGB vice chief based on a provision in the Fiscal 2012 defense authorization act. (Washington, D.C., report by Jim Greenhill)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.