The Pentagon announced last week that the president has nominated Gen David L. Goldfein to be the next Air Force Chief of Staff.

In making the announcement, Department of Defense (DoD) Secretary Ash Carter called Gen Goldfein “one of the most proven strategic thinkers across our joint force.”  “Dave’s extensive politico-military experience will be to our great benefit as we continue to accelerate our efforts to deal ISIL a lasting defeat,” Carter said.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said “General Goldfein possess the experience and vision needed to address dynamic global challenges and increasing military demand.”  Goldfein “knows how to build and sustain key partnerships, has important warfighting experience, and will exercise the critical judgement required to balance our manpower and resources as we shape tomorrow’s Air Force,” said James.

Gen. Goldfein is currently the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, a position he has held since August 2015.  Prior to that he was Director of the Joint Staff (August 2013-August 2015), Commander of U.S. Air Force Central Command, Southwest Asia (August 2011-August 2013), and Director of Operations, Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.

Goldfein is a pilot (T-37, T38, F-16C/D, F-117A, MQ-9 and MC-12W) who has over 4,200 cockpit hours and has flown missions in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Air Force leadership jobs he has held include: Commander 555th Fighter Squadron, Aviano AB, Italy; Commander 366th Operations Group, Mountain Home AFB, Idaho; Commander 52nd Fighter Wing Spangdahlem AB, Germany; and Commander 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, N.M. 

In addition to serving as the Director of the Joint Staff, his other Joint assignments include Special Assistant to the Commander, Allied Air Forces Southern Europe and 16th Air Force, and executive officer to the Commander, Allied Air Forces Europe.

Goldfein, if confirmed by the Senate, would become the 21st Air Force Chief of Staff replacing Gen Mark Welsh A. Welsh III who is retiring. Welsh has been the Air Force Chief since August 2012.