SASC Advances Two Combatant Commander Nominees

The Senate Armed Services Committee advanced the nomination that could make the son of an Airman the Marine Corps’ first Black four-star general.

The SASC advanced the nominations to the full Senate of both Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael E. Langley to become commander of U.S. Africa Command and Army Lt. Gen. Bryan P. Fenton to lead U.S. Special Operations Command.

Langley’s father, retired USAF Master Sgt. Willie C. Langley, who served for 25 years, attended the prospective combatant commanders’ joint confirmation hearing July 21. 

Langley currently serves as commander of both U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and Marine Corps Forces North and as commanding general of Fleet Marine Force Atlantic.

He would replace Army Gen. Stephen J. Townsend. Langley told the senators that like Townsend, he would prioritize more intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to deter terrorists in the AFRICOM area of responsibility.

Fenton is commander of Joint Special Operations Command; and of Joint Special Operations Command Forward, U.S. Special Operations Command.

He would replace Army Gen. Richard D. Clarke at SOCOM and said he would strengthen special operations in the Indo-Pacific region with “asymmetric, scalable options … via our special operators’ placement, access, and influence, presenting multiple dilemmas.”