The Senate confirmed the nomination of Maj. Gen. John Raymond to receive a third star for his new assignment as commander of 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. In this role, he will oversee the Air Force’s space forces. Senators approved Raymond’s nomination on Dec. 20, according to the Senate’s list of non-civilian confirmations. This was one week after the Pentagon announced that President Obama had tapped Raymond for this promotion. Raymond has been US Strategic Command’s director of plans and policy at Offutt AFB, Neb., since July 2012. In his new position, Raymond will also be STRATCOM’s joint functional component commander for space, leading the joint space forces assigned and attached to STRATCOM.
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.