25 September 2023

UNITED STATES: New head for Air Force

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The former Chair of the not-for-profit Aerospace Corporation, Barbara Barrett (pictured) is to be nominated by US President, Donald Trump to be the next Secretary of the US Air Force.

This follows another of the President’s regular sackings — in this case, former Air Force Secretary, Heather Wilson, who was unenthusiastic about Mr Trump’s pet project to set up a separate Space Force in the US military.

Ms Wilson, who will take up the Presidency of the University of Texas at El Paso, tweeted that Ms Barrett was a “wonderful choice by the President”.

Ms Barrett has a longstanding interest in aerospace issues, sitting on the boards of the Rand and Aerospace Corporations and acting as a former member of the Pentagon’s Defence Business Board.

She is an experienced pilot, and in 2009 trained at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City, Russia, and was then certified for space travel.

It isn’t the first time Ms Barrett has been nominated for the Secretary role.

In 2003, she was nominated by President George W. Bush, but eventually withdrew before she went through the confirmation process.

She was later confirmed as Mr Bush’s Ambassador to Finland.

In 2016, as Mr Trump’s Pentagon team was starting to come together, she was again mentioned as a potential nominee, but nothing came of it.

Washington, DC, 23 May 2019

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