ARLINGTON, Va. — The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold nomination hearings Thursday for Army Gen. David Petraeus, President Bush’s choice as the next commander of U.S. Central Command, and his successor in Iraq, Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, according to a senior defense official.

Geoff Morrell, a spokesman for Defense Secretary Robert Gates, told Pentagon reporters that Gates had discussed the nomination hearings during a Thursday morning meeting with SASC leaders on Capitol Hill, and lawmakers had agreed to hold a simultaneous session for the officers on May 22.

On Thursday afternoon Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, head of the Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., and Navy Rear Adm. William McRaven, commander of Special Operations Command Europe and director of special operation for U.S. European Command in Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany, were also scheduled to meet with the SASC leaders.

McChrystal has been nominated to become director of the Joint Staff, and Navy Rear Adm. William McRaven, who has been nominated as his successor at SOCOM. Gates hopes that all four officers can be confirmed at the same time, Morrell said.

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