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​Gen. David Goldfein. USAF photo.

President Obama has nominated Gen. David Goldfein to serve as the next Chief of Staff of the Air Force, according to an April 26 Pentagon announcement. If confirmed by the Senate, Goldfein, who currently serves as USAF vice chief of staff, would replace Gen. Mark Welsh, who has led the service since August 2012. Welsh will retire July 1 after a nearly 40-year Air Force career, which includes assignments as commander of US Air Forces in Europe, associate director of the Central Intelligence Agency for military affairs, and vice commander of Air Education and Training Command. Welsh is a command pilot with more than 3,300 hours in the F-16, A-10, T-37, and TG-7A. Sources previously told Air Force Magazine that Defense Secretary Ash Carter wanted the next service chief to be a combat veteran capable of leading the Air Force during the ongoing air war against ISIS. Goldfein, a 1983 Air Force Academy graduate, previously served as director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon and led Air Forces Central Command from August 2011 to July 2013. He is a command pilot with more than 4,200 hours flying the T-37, T-38, F-16C/D, F-117A, MQ-9, and MC-12W. He has flown combat missions in Iraq, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. “General Goldfein possesses the experience and vision needed to address dynamic global challenges and increasing military demand. He knows how to build and sustain key partnerships, has important warfighting experience, and will exercise the critical judgement required to balance our manpower and resources as we shape tomorrow's Air Force,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said in an April 26 release