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Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing June 16, 2016, in Washington, D.C., following his nomination to be the 21st Air Force Chief of Staff. Air Force photo by Scott M. Ash.

​The Senate Armed Services Committee voted Tuesday to approve the nomination of Gen. David Goldfein to be the next Air Force Chief of Staff, according to a SASC spokesman. If approved by the full Senate, Goldfein will replace Gen. Mark Welsh, who has left the Pentagon, but officially retires July 1. If Goldfein is not confirmed by then, he will still perform the duties of the Chief, based on his current position as the vice chief of staff, until a successor is appointed. The panel also voted to approve more than 1,600 other pending military nominations, including the nominations of Air Force Lt. Gen. Joseph Lengyel to be the next chief of the National Guard Bureau, and Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser to lead US Africa Command. If confirmed, Lengyel, the current vice chief of the National Guard Bureau, would receive a fourth star and replace Army Gen. Frank Grass, who became chief in September 2012. There is no specific timeline for when the full Senate will vote on the nominations, but it could happen as early as this week.