- The Washington Times - Friday, March 18, 2016

President Obama will name Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson to be the head of U.S. Northern Command, making her the nation’s first female combatant commander, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Friday.

The position, which is subject to Senate approval, is one of the most senior in the U.S. military and would make Gen. Robinson — who now leads U.S. air forces in the Pacific — the top general overseeing activities in North America.

Northern Command is one of the nation’s six regional combatant commands, tasked with helping defend the homeland. As commander, Gen. Robinson would answer directly to Mr. Carter.

“General Robinson, it just so happens, would be the first-ever female combatant commander,” Mr. Carter said at an event hosted by Politico, Reuters reported. “That shows yet another thing — which is that we have, coming along now, a lot of female officers who are exceptionally strong. And Lori certainly fits into that category.”

Mr. Carter also announced that the president would nominate Army Gen. Vincent Brooks to be the commander of U.S. Forces in South Korea, filling the seat left vacant by Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who has been called up to be the next NATO Supreme Allied Commander and head of the U.S. European Command.

Gen. Brooks currently leads the U.S. Army Pacific.

“He’s the one who has been shepherding what the Army calls Pacific Pathways, which is the Army’s ingredient in the so-called re-balance to the Asia-Pacific,” Mr. Carter said.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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