WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Tuesday announced White House nominations for two top Air Force jobs, including a woman who would become the U.S. military’s first female four-star combat commander if confirmed.
President Barack Obama nominated Air Force Lt. Gen. Lori J. Robinson to receive a fourth star and become commander of Pacific Air Forces. Robinson would also become air component commander for U.S. Pacific Command and executive director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. Robinson now serves as vice commander at Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.
Obama also nominated the current PACAF commander, Gen. Herbert J. “Hawk” Carlisle to run Air Combat Command.
As PACAF commander since 2012, Carlisle has helmed the air component of the United States’ Pacific rebalance strategy, an effort to build military, diplomatic and economic alliances in the Asia-Pacific region, where a resurgent China has been flexing its military muscles.
A fighter pilot by training, Carlisle had served as Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements at the Pentagon and earlier commanded the 13th Air Force at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, among other assignments. He received his commission after graduation from the Air Force Academy in 1978.
Robinson, an air battle manager, has served as vice commander of Air Combat Command since May 2013. Before that, she served as deputy commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command and deputy Combined Force Air Component Commander for U.S. Central Command in Southwest Asia. She entered the Air Force in 1982 through the ROTC program at the University of New Hampshire.
Robinson is the second woman to rise to the four-star rank in the Air Force. Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger took command of Air Force materiel command in 2012.