Hyten, Thompson confirmations complete Obama’s milspace leadership shuffle

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday (Sept. 28) confirmed two more of President Obama’s picks for top military space posts, completing a leadership shuffle that began when Lt. Gen. John “Jay” Raymond got the nod to lead Air Force Space Command.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson will take command of the Space and Missile Systems Center. Credit: USAF
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson will take command of the Space and Missile Systems Center. Credit: USAF

Raymond, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for operations at the Pentagon, was nominated for the Colorado Springs post  — and his fourth star — Sept. 7.

He was confirmed Sept. 15 without fanfare, the same day that the Senate quietly okayed Obama’s proposal to move Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves from his command post at the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles, to Huntsville, Alabama, where he will replace Navy Vice Adm. James Syring as the Missile Defense Agency’s director.

Syring’s next stop has not been announced.

On Wednesday, the Senate agreed to let Obama move Gen. John Hyten, who has led Air Force Space Command since 2014, to Nebraskas, where he will replace Navy Adm. Cecil Haney as the head of U.S. Strategic Command.

The promotion puts Hyten in charge of the nation’s nuclear arsenal as well as space operations, missile defense and cyber warfare.

Approved along with Hyten’s nomination was Obama’s pick to replace Greaves as commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center. Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson is now cleared to relinquish his command of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center outside Dayton, Ohio, and move to Los Angeles, where he will run the Air Force’s space hardware acquisition efforts.