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North named to head PACAF


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POSTED: Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Air Force Lt. Gen. Gary L. North has been nominated to be the next commander of Pacific Air Forces, replacing Gen. Carrol H. “;Howie”; Chandler.

North is commander of 9th Air Force, Air Combat Command and U.S. Central Command Air Forces at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C.

His latest assignment means that he will be promoted to general and will receive his fourth star once his nomination is approved by the U.S. Senate.

As the head of Pacific Air Forces, North also will serve as the air component commander for U.S. Pacific Command and executive director of the Pacific Air Combat operations staff at Hickam Air Force Base.

Chandler has been at Hickam since November 2007, leading 45,000 military and civilian personnel serving in nine installations in Hawaii, Alaska, Japan, Guam and South Korea. Chandler's nomination as the Air Force's vice chief of staff at the Pentagon was recently approved by the Senate.

There are about 300 fighter and attack aircraft assigned to PACAF in the 5th Air Force at Yokota Air Base in Japan; 7th Air Force at Osan Air Base in South Korea; the 11th Air Force at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska; and 13th Air Force at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

; Major units in PACAF include 3rd Wing; 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea; 15th Airlift Wing at Hickam; 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa; 51st Wing at Osan; 343rd Wing, Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska; 35th Fighter Wing in Misawa Air Base in Japan; 374th Airlift Wing in Yokota; and the 36th Air Base Wing at Andersen.

North was commissioned in 1976 after completing East Carolina University's ROTC and earned two master's degrees from Golden Gate University. He commanded the 33rd Fighter Squadron at Shaw from 1990-93; the 35th Operations Group at Misawa from 1994-1996; 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan from 1999-2002; and the 18th Wing from 2000-2002. From July 2004 to January 2006, North was director of operations at U.S. Pacific Command.

He is a command pilot with more than 4,100 flying hours, primarily in the F-4 Phantom, F-15 Eagle and F-16 Falcon combat jets. He flew 54 combat missions during Operations Desert Storm and Southern Watch.