First woman American General to lead top-tier combat command
DENVER—The Air Force has just two female four-star generals, and one is about to become the first woman to head a top-tier US warfighting command, but that may not be the most remarkable thing about her.
Gen. Lori J. Robinson takes over the North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Northern Command in Colorado on Friday. People who know Robinson describe her as the personification of a new generation of leaders, someone who understands the Air Force has a broad role in space, cyber security and drones, not just flying and fighting.
“Gen. Robinson reflects that change as much as anything else,” said Maria Carl, a retired Air Force colonel who serves on the Military Affairs Council of the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce. Carl didn’t serve under Robinson but worked with her in her Chamber of Commerce role, when the general headed the Pacific Air Forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“She has an ability to take all the different pieces of the picture and pull it together strategically,” Carl said.
Robinson wasn’t available for an interview before she officially started her new assignment at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.
Her family has deep roots in the Air Force. Her husband, retired two-star Gen. David Robinson, was a pilot in the Thunderbirds demonstration team. David Robinson’s daughter, 2nd Lt. Taryn Ashley Robinson, graduated from the Air Force Academy in June 2005 but was fatally injured in a pilot-training crash that autumn. She died in January 2006, four weeks before her 23rd birthday.
Lori Robinson’s father, George Howard of Jackson, New Hampshire, was a 30-year Air Force veteran and a pilot in the Vietnam War. “I have looked up to my father my entire life,” Robinson told senators at a con- firmation hearing for her new job last month. He accompanied her to the hearing.
One of her new commands, the North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD, is a joint US-Canada operation that defends the skies over both nations and monitors sea approaches. It’s best known for its Cold War-era control room deep inside Cheyenne Mountain — now used only as a backup — and for its wildly popular NORAD Tracks Santa operation on Christmas Eve, fielding calls from children asking for Santa’s whereabouts.
Her other command, Northern Command, is responsible for defending US territory from attack and helping civilian authorities in emergencies. It was created after the Sep. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Northern Command is one of nine warfighting centers the Pentagon calls unified combatant commands. They combine elements of all the military services and have responsibility for geographic areas of the globe or specialized roles, such as Special Forces. All the other combatant commands are led by men. Robinson has an extensive background in command and control, the science of orchestrating military operations across a broad area. In her previous job, commander of Pacific Air Forces, her area of responsibility spanned more than half the globe.
“You’re dealing with a lot of countries, a lot of the air forces in the Pacific, China being one of them,” said Darryll Wong, a retired Air Force major general and Hawaii’s former adjutant general. “She had to be a fast learner.”
Wong said Robinson showed she has a compassionate side as well. “I think it’s very reassuring that you have a strong leader and a compassionate leader,” he said. “It says a lot to the enlisted (personnel).”—Agencies changes, conflicts, asylum and dislocation conditions which have serious implications for the family and its components, especially the society’s geographical make up, fertility indicators, age structure of the population, rising rate of abject poverty, unemployment and conflict of values and identity and its effect on family cohesion. Added to these is the danger of arbitrary use of social media and its effect on principles, values and the future of family bonds in Muslim societies.
The OIC is aware of the importance of the family – considering the changes to the definition of “family” in the international community – and stresses that it is the cornerstone of the Muslim society and plays an essential role in the comprehensive development process and advancement of society. Within this context, the 42nd session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in Kuwait from 27 – 28 May 2015 approved holding a ministerial conference to consider the issue of strengthening marriage and family institution and preserving its values in the Member States.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expressed its readiness to host the first session of this conference this year. On this occasion, the Secretary General seizes the opportunity to call on the international community, including OIC Member States, to intensify efforts.—Email that Russia would not be involved in a new arms race.
The United States switched on an $800 million missile shield in Romania on Thursday that it sees as vital to defend itself and Europe from so-called rogue states but the Kremlin says is aimed at blunting its own nuclear arsenal.—Agencies