Chandler nominated to lead Hickam
Lt. Gen. Carrol H. "Howie" Chandler, deputy chief of staff for air and space operations at the Pentagon, has been nominated to head Pacific Air Forces based at Hickam Air Force Base.
Chandler's nomination has to be approved by the Senate. The former F-15 and F-16 fighter pilot was also nominated for a fourth star and promotion to the rank of general, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday in a statement.
As the leading Air Force officer in the Pacific, Chandler also will serve as air component commander for the U.S. Pacific Command.
If approved by the Senate, Chandler is expected to assume his new job in November.
Chandler entered the Air Force in 1974 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a pilot with more than 3,900 flying hours in the T-38, F-15 and F-16 jets.
Chandler has lived in Hawaii before, serving at the U.S. Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces in the 1980s and 1990s. He also has served as a fighter squadron commander at Kadena Air Force Base in Japan and as a U.S. Air Force adviser to the Royal Saudi Air Force.
He will replace Gen. Paul Hester, who assumed command of PACAF in July 2004 and will be retiring in January.
He directed the Air Force's contribution to the massive U.S. military relief effort for victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed or left missing at least 230,000 people in a dozen countries in December 2004.
In February, Hester oversaw the first overseas deployment of the F-22 Raptor, the world's most powerful fighter jet, to Kadena Air Base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.
Star-Bulletin reporter Gregg K. Kakesako and the Associated Press contributed to this report.