TAMPA, Fla. — U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the deputy director of the Missile Defense Agency, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to head the service’s Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, the Pentagon announced April 14.

SMC is responsible for buying and maintaining the Defense Department’s space systems. SMC commanders report to Air Force Space Command. 

Greaves served as vice commander of SMC from August 2009 to February 2011. 

Along with the appointment, Obama nominated Greaves for the rank of lieutenant general. 

Greaves has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and master’s degrees from West Coast University and the Air War College.

SMC’s current commander, Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, meanwhile, has been nominated to move to the Pentagon as military deputy for the assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition. She has led SMC since June 2011.

In testimony before the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee April 3, Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, credited Pawlikowski’s “sterling leadership” with saving $1.6 billion in the acquisition of two highly protected military communications satellites compared to the original government estimate.

Pawlikowski served as deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office, which builds and launches the nation’s spy satellites, from 2008 to 2010.

Both appointments require confirmation from the Senate.

Mike Gruss is a senior staff writer for SpaceNews. He joined the publication in January 2013 to cover military space. Previously, he worked as a reporter and columnist for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. and The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind. He...