Recently retired Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh is the newest member of the Northrop Grumman board of directors, the company announced Thursday. The Air Force, under Welsh’s leadership, awarded Northrop the highly coveted B-21 long-range strike bomber contract last year. The appointment of Welsh increases Northrop’s board to 14 members, which includes former Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, who retired as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in 2005, and retired Adm. Gary Roughead, who retired as the Chief of Naval Operations in 2011. Welsh’s “extensive leadership experience and deep understanding of global security are a great fit to our board,” Northrop President Wes Bush said in the news release. Even though Welsh oversaw business dealings with Northrop Grumman as Chief of Staff, his role at the company will be advisory in nature; he will not be soliciting work from the Air Force. Retired generals who want to lobby, solicit work, or “influence” their former service or the Defense Department must wait a year before doing such work. Industry officials said Northrop will notify the Securities and Exchange Commission within four days what Welsh’s compensation will be. Welsh, a 1976 graduate of the Air Force Academy, has also been named to the US Air Force Academy Endowment Board of Directors.
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.