First woman Amer­i­can Gen­eral to lead top-tier com­bat com­mand

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.