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Obama to nominate first woman to head U.S. combatant command

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will nominate the first woman to head a U.S. military combatant command, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Friday, a major milestone in a department that this year opened all combat jobs to women.

Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson is being nominated to head U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command. If confirmed by the Senate, Robinson, would be the seventh commander to head the Colorado-based command. She currently is head of the Pacific Air Force.

Northern Command was created in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to coordinate and improve homeland defense and to provide support for national disasters. She would replace Adm. William Gortney, who is retiring.

Carter also said that Obama will nominate Gen. Vincent Brooks to head U.S. Forces Korea. Brooks currently is in charge of U.S. Army Pacific Command.

Brooks’ nomination also is subject to Senate confirmation.

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