Thursday, February 01, 2007

Second Time's the Charm?

Rumor of the Day: A little over two years ago, Don Rumsfeld and the White House tried to break the Navy's stranglehold over leadership of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), nominating Air Force General Gregory "Speedy" Martin as the next CINCPAC. Unfortunately, General Martin's nomination was eventually scuttled, due to his association with the Air Force/Boeing tanker scandal. Never mind that General Martin was never accused of any wrong doing; his limited involvement with the program was enough to convince John McCain that Martin was not suitable for the CINCPAC job. Martin retired, and two Navy admirals have held the post since that time. As we observed at the time, Senator McCain was hardly a disinterested observer, as a retired Navy Captain, and a son of a former CINCPAC.

Now, Defense Secretary Robert Gates may be preparing another attempt to end the Navy's dominance at PACOM. The buzz in the Pentagon suggests that Air Force Lieutenant General David Deptula may have the inside track at becoming the next CINCPAC, replacing Admiral William Fallon. Admiral Fallon got the top job at CINCPAC when General Martin's nomination was withdrawn, and more recently, he has been nominated to replace General Abizaid at U.S. Central Command. Deptula, who currently serves as the Air Force's Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, is a former Vice Commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces.

This recent article in the Honolulu Advertiser lists all the potential nominees, and suggests that Deptula is something of a dark horse candidate. Virtually all of the other prospective nominees --including the Navy candidates--already have their fourth star. But with the growing emphasis on air and space power in the Pacific (to counter threats from China and North Korea), Mr. Gates may decide that it's time for an Air Force officer to lead the command. General Deptula, who's been on the "star" track since his days as a primary air planner in Riyadh during Operation Desert Storm, is supremely qualified to be the next CINCPAC. We'll soon see if Secretary Gates--and the President--agree.


Eunuch said...

Yeah, but Deptula is taking over a greater portion of the the Intel role right now...but then again, I could see it.

On another note, AFEskimo sent me over this way. Now I'm stationed at Langley, and I'm sure you and I have crossed paths somewhere, or if not, then six degrees of separation are about four too many!

cold pizza said...

When you consider the amount of water in PACOM, it made sense to pull in the CINCPACFLEET as the PACOM/CC while the CV would either be USA or USAF. I can understand the need to show more “jointness” by putting in an AF CC. However, in my very lowly position and having been stationed at lovely Camp H.M. Smith, the guiding philosophies of the top brass wouldn’t have any real effect on operations, but could merely strike a blow for Navy prestige.

The various fiefdoms that make up PACOM (SOCOM, MARFORPAC (only ‘cause they’re co-located), USFK, CINCPACFLT (just down the hill), JTF-FA and to a lesser degree PACAF and USA Pacific) would still be responsible for ops, equipment and training of their respective forces. The Navy OWNS the Pacific. The key is to not let any one service own too big a share of the Joint Commands. With Adm Fallon at CENTCOM, there’s certainly room for Deptula at PACOM.

Besides which, those Navy folks aren’t used to shiny new buildings anyway (now that they’ve moved out of that old termite infested ex-hospital building that used to be HQ). The Army would just re-paint it. At least the AF guys would get everyone new furniture and spiffy 20” monitors. -cp

youdunno said...

I recommend this short movie mocking Kim Jong Il and his secret agent for buying Hennessy XO wine abroad :=)

North Korea's 007 (or "007 vs. Man in Black"), a very popular short movie by "Huge" and some Chinese netizens, mocks Kim Jong Il (dubbed "our great king") and his secret agent for buying Hennessy XO abroad.

As of 3:27 AM, January 20, 2007, China Standard Time, the movie has been watched 1,993,567 times on a single site ( and received 1620 comments.