WASHINGTON — The White House nominated Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting to take the helm of U.S. Space Command, succeeding Gen. James Dickinson as the U.S. Defense Department’s top military space operations leader.

The nomination was sent to the Senate on July 11.

Since 2020, Whiting has served as the head of Space Operations Command, one of the Space Force’s three field commands. He has previously held positions at U.S. Air Force and Space Force headquarters, SPACECOM and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Dickinson, who has been in the SPACECOM commander role since August of 2020, is an Army officer who previously led the land service’s Space and Missile Defense Command. He also held senior positions at U.S. Strategic Command and the Missile Defense Agency.

Along with Whiting’s nomination, the Biden administration selected Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein — the head of the Space Systems Command, the Space Force’s acquisition arm — to serve as the next Vice Chief of Space Operations.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Philip Garrant is the administration’s choice to replace Guetlein at Space Systems Command. Garrant is the deputy chief of space operations for strategy, plans, programs and requirements.

These nominations come as Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., has placed a blanket hold on all high-level military promotions, including Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown’s nomination to be the next joint chiefs chairman.

Tuberville is protesting a Pentagon policy to pay for abortion services and leave time for troops stationed in states where the healthcare service is illegal.

Courtney Albon is C4ISRNET’s space and emerging technology reporter. She has covered the U.S. military since 2012, with a focus on the Air Force and Space Force. She has reported on some of the Defense Department’s most significant acquisition, budget and policy challenges.

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