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Gates nominates two to top Air Force posts

June 9, 2008 at 11:57 AM

WASHINGTON, June 9 (UPI) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has sent his nominees for the top civilian and military Air Force leaders to U.S. President George Bush, the Pentagon said.

Gates recommended Michael Donley to serve as secretary of the Air Force and Gen. Norton Schwartz to be Air Force chief of staff. He asked that Donley's appointment be effective June 21 "to minimize any disruption" caused by the transition, Gates said Monday in a news release.

The two would replace Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne and Gen. Michael Moseley, the chief of staff, whom Gates ousted last week over the Air Force's handling of nuclear components.

Donley is director of administration and management for the Defense Department. Schwartz is commander of the U.S. Transportation Command.

The defense secretary recommended Gen. Duncan McNabb, now the Air Force vice chief of staff, replace Schwartz, and Lt. Gen. William Fraser, currently assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, succeed McNabb.

"I am confident that Mike Donley, General Schwartz and the new Air Force leadership team have the qualifications, skill and commitment to excellence necessary to guide the Air Force through this transition and beyond," Gates said.

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