President Donald Trump has nominated Lt. Gen. Mark Kelly and Lt. Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost to receive their fourth stars and be the next heads of Air Combat Command and Air Mobility Command, respectively.
Kelly is currently the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for operations at the Pentagon, and Van Ovost is AMC’s deputy commander at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
In a release Tuesday, the Pentagon also said that Maj. Gen. Andrew Croft, the current commander of the 12th Air Force and Air Forces Southern at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, has been nominated to receive his third star and be the military deputy commander at U.S. Southern Command in Doral, Florida.
Maj. Gen. Charles Moore, currently the director of operations for U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Maryland, has been nominated to the rank of lieutenant general and to be deputy commander of Cyber Command. And Maj. Gen. Brian Robinson, director of operations for U.S. Transportation Command headquarters at Scott, has also been nominated to become a lieutenant general and deputy commander of AMC.
If confirmed as ACC commander, Kelly will oversee the major command that is responsible for delivering most of the Air Force’s combat airpower, including fighter, reconnaissance, battle management, and electronic combat aircraft. ACC organizes, trains, maintains, and equips combat aircraft to be ready to deploy to locations around the world, including the Middle East. Kelly would succeed current ACC head Gen. Mike Holmes.
Kelly is an experienced fighter pilot, who has more than 6,000 hours flying in the F-15E, F-16 and F-35A, among other aircraft. That includes more than 800 hours flying in combat. He was commander of AFSOUTH before becoming deputy chief of staff for operations, and he entered the Air Force in 1986 after receiving his commission through the Air Force ROTC program at Southwest Texas State University. He also in 2016 became special assistant to former ACC commander retired Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle.
Van Ovost, if confirmed, would succeed Gen. Maryanne Miller as AMC commander. AMC, which has a fleet of about 1,074 aircraft and nearly 107,000 total force airmen and civilian employees, handles the Air Force’s airlift, air refueling, air mobility support, and aeromedical evacuation.
Van Ovost graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1988, and is a command pilot with more than 4,200 hours flying more than 30 aircraft, including the C-17, the C-32 and the KC-135.
She previously was the Air Force’s director of staff at the Pentagon, where she also advised the service’s leadership on diversity and inclusion efforts.
Croft played a major role in leading the campaign to drive the Islamic State out of Mosul, Iraq, and other strongholds when he served as deputy commanding general for air, Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command, Operation Inherent Resolve in 2017 and 2018. Croft a command pilot who flew aircraft such as the A-10, F-15C and F-22.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.