President Barack Obama has nominated Maj. Gen. Richard Clark for a third star and for assignment as head of 3rd Air Force, according to a Pentagon release. Clark has commanded the 8th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) at Barksdale AFB, La., since April 2015 and was Air Force Global Strike Command’s vice commander before then. If confirmed by the Senate, he would replace Lt. Gen. Timothy Ray as the commander of the US Air Forces in Europe component at Ramstein AB, Germany. The service has not yet announced if Ray will move to a new position or retire. Maj. Gen. Thomas Bussiere, the deputy director for nuclear, homeland defense, and current operations on the Joint Staff, will replace Clark as commander of 8th Air Force, according to a Pentagon release. If confirmed, he will also serve as the joint functional component commander for global strike at US Strategic Command.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.