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Thread: Lt. Gen. Lori Robinson Nominated for Pacific Air Forces Commander

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    Lt. Gen. Lori Robinson Nominated for Pacific Air Forces Commander

    VERY surprised this is not being talked about on this form. I have been waiting for days for it to hit here... I decided to post it!

    The U.S. Air Force has promoted the first woman to be in command of the Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii. Lt. Gen. Lori Robinson was nominated for the position by President Barack Obama, and also received a fourth star, according to Stars and Stripes. She was also given the position of air component commander for U.S. Pacific Command and executive director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.


    One issue that has been raised with the move is that while Robinson has experience as an air battle manager, she is not a pilot...

    This has NOTHING to do with her being an women. PLAIN and SIMPLE she is NOT qualified! Or am I wrong? My feeling is it is like making someone Chief Of Surgery and they NEVER have performed surgery!!!

    Thoughts?
    Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

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    At the soon to be four star level, the real question is does she understand the employment of airpower and how to work in a joint environment. The Air Force has long gone under the assumption that being a pilot makes you qualified to be in charge. There are several examples proving this is not always the case-- Generals McPeak and Foglesong to name the most high profile "failures"
    Formely F-111E

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    Quote Originally Posted by E Model View Post
    At the soon to be four star level, the real question is does she understand the employment of airpower and how to work in a joint environment. The Air Force has long gone under the assumption that being a pilot makes you qualified to be in charge. There are several examples proving this is not always the case-- Generals McPeak and Foglesong to name the most high profile "failures"
    Very good points...

    And I agree about pilots. I hated it when a pilot would take over command and "they" would know nothing about the job, people, position, etc, it was just a quick stop to get the box checked...

    In this case, I am just wondering if a pilot would be better equipped.
    Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RingLeader View Post
    VERY surprised this is not being talked about on this form. I have been waiting for days for it to hit here... I decided to post it!

    The U.S. Air Force has promoted the first woman to be in command of the Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii. Lt. Gen. Lori Robinson was nominated for the position by President Barack Obama, and also received a fourth star, according to Stars and Stripes. She was also given the position of air component commander for U.S. Pacific Command and executive director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.


    One issue that has been raised with the move is that while Robinson has experience as an air battle manager, she is not a pilot...

    This has NOTHING to do with her being an women. PLAIN and SIMPLE she is NOT qualified! Or am I wrong? My feeling is it is like making someone Chief Of Surgery and they NEVER have performed surgery!!!

    Thoughts?
    I think nobody is talking about it because it's not really that interesting of a story. First, there are so many "firsts" that one gets a little burned out.

    Second, it's like any leadership position. They go to schools on strategy, etc. There are plenty of leadership postions around the AF that are filled by people working outside their expertise. I'm sure by the time someone gets to 3 star they are pretty competent with, at least, studying up. I'm not sure why somebody would need to have ever flown a plane to do this job.

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    So, based on the idea that since she's never been a pilot, she's incapable of leading a Major Command, I have to ask:

    What do you think about Wing Commanders who weren't pilots?

    Or about Flag-Officer level appropriations decision-makers that were never pilots?

    Do you think it is appopriate for civlians with no direct military experience to be nominated to the Secretary of Defense position? How about Senators to be nominated to Secretary of State?
    Back from the bit bucket. Somebody flushed the buffers on me, though . . ..

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    Senior Member Stalwart's Avatar
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    At the tactical level (small unit) it is necessary for the commander to be experienced in the mission of the unit

    Aviation squadron: pilot or flight officer
    Engineer battalion: engineering officer
    Infantry battalion: infantry officer
    Surface warship: surface warfare officer
    Submarine: submarine officer

    At the operational level of war, it isn't really needed, but is beneficial; at the strategic level it is about management -- that commander isn't making a tactical decision but translating policy objectives into war plans for the operational and tactical commanders to execute. At that level, it doesn't really matter if you were a great pilot, infantry commander or SWO ... but your ability to turn policy into plans and manage the various types of units that are subordinate to you.
    Last edited by Stalwart; 07-23-2014 at 12:24 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RingLeader View Post
    One issue that has been raised with the move is that while Robinson has experience as an air battle manager, she is not a pilot...
    Air Battle Manager is a rated officer.

    Also, I know traditionally, that these positions are only appointed to pilots. This is the equivalent of saying to coach an NBA or NFL team, once must have played the game. We all know that some of the greatest coaches never played...at least not at that level.

    I think we probably eliminate some talent based on that assumption...and I'm glad it is being broken. If a commander has demonstrated the ability to command air forces...I don't he/she needs to have known how to drive one.
    Last edited by Measure Man; 07-22-2014 at 11:14 PM.

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    Senior Member Capt Alfredo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RingLeader View Post
    VERY surprised this is not being talked about on this form. I have been waiting for days for it to hit here... I decided to post it!

    The U.S. Air Force has promoted the first woman to be in command of the Pacific Air Forces in Hawaii. Lt. Gen. Lori Robinson was nominated for the position by President Barack Obama, and also received a fourth star, according to Stars and Stripes. She was also given the position of air component commander for U.S. Pacific Command and executive director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.


    One issue that has been raised with the move is that while Robinson has experience as an air battle manager, she is not a pilot...

    This has NOTHING to do with her being an women. PLAIN and SIMPLE she is NOT qualified! Or am I wrong? My feeling is it is like making someone Chief Of Surgery and they NEVER have performed surgery!!!

    Thoughts?
    Not qualified? I'd say she's pretty darn qualified. She's been Vice Commander of ACC. She's been Deputy CFACC. She's a two-time Wing Commander (operational and training wings). She's a Weapons School grad. I've never heard anyone who's worked with or for her have a bad thing to say. I'd say she's going to do just fine. Also, as others have mentioned, being an Air Battle Manager is still a rated position and requires a strong understanding of the uses of air power. Yep, she's going to do just fine.

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    Senior Member Chief_KO's Avatar
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    Kudos to E Model for bringing up two examples of being a pilot does not equal being a good commander. McPonytail was also a Thunderbird so... It would be interesting to see how high a Tops In Blue member rose thru their career. Doc was known to be a C/W singer...maybe he'll soon be on one of the too many TV "talent" shows.

    There is a large political component of all nominated positions, no denying that. Some of the worst professional football coaches were Hall of Fame players, while some of the best coaches never played a single down. I think the "lack of outrage or concern" is valid; she sounds like a solid, well-qualified officer.
    "Never force a fart in Djibouti"..."Always marry your second wife first"..."If anyone says that you're not a team player, maybe they're on the wrong team"..."You can gold plate a turd and it's still a turd"

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    The real question about her abilities to be PACAF commander boils down to this: at SOS or ACSC (forgot which one), how many ATO's did it take for her to achieve the objective of degrading the adversary's capabilities, lol! One may laugh at this, but it's not that easy, since it involves numerous different airframes and capabilities, munition types, missions (SEAD, offensive counter-air, defensive counter-air, etc). I'm not a rated type, but I was able to achieve the objective with my first ATO. So yes, one can be an effective commander at that level without being a pilot. Besides, that's what deputies are for! And with the emphasis now on PACOM, she's going to have her hands full with things like Air-Sea Battle, moving the AF chess pieces around in that AOR, repositioning more AF assets to that AOR, etc.

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