Senate Confirms Gen. Mark Welsh as AF Chief of Staff

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US Air Force photo of Mark Welsh

The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Gen. Mark. Welsh as the Air Force’s 20th chief of staff, the service branch announced Friday.

Pending a formal appointment from President Obama, the 36-year veteran and former commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe will assume office during an Aug. 10 ceremony.

In a July 19 hearing, Welsh told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he will work with Air Force Secretary Michale Donley to lead the 690,000 active duty members from the National Guard, Reserve and civilian airmen.

Nominated in May, Welsh’s confirmation came a few days after Gen. Philip Breedlove succeeded Welsh as head of Air Forces in Europe.

Welsh was previously responsible for the Air Force’s activities in an area of operations covering almost one-fifth of the globe.

That area includes 51 countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and the Arctic and Atlantic oceans with a total population of nearly one billion people speaking more than 80 languages.

Since joining the Air Force in 1976, Welsh has served operational, command and staff positions.

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