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Posted at 2:37 PM ET, 11/15/2010

CIA picks AF general to run military ops office

By Jeff Stein

The CIA announced Monday that it has chosen an Air Force general with extensive experience in Predator drones to head its military affairs office.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Kurt A. Cichowski, currently vice commander of the Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla., is a career combat pilot but has held a wide variety of command and management slots, including deputy chief of staff for strategy, plans and assessment at the Multi-National Force-Iraq headquarters in Baghdad during 2006-2007. During that stint he also co-chaired, with an Iraqi counterpart, the Joint Committee to Transfer Security Responsibility.

Cichowski graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1977 and earned a master's degree in business administration and management from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, in 1982. He was a national defense fellow at the Brookings Institution in 1998.

"Special operations is completely changing the way we are looking at warfare," Cichowski told pilots in training in a 2009 speech. "We are taking on an enemy that is no longer wanting to meet the United States Air Force force-on-force, big-on-big."

The general called the drones program a “phenomenal … success.”

Cichowski replaces Lt. Gen. Mark Walsh, who is taking command of U.S. Air Forces Europe, according to the announcement from CIA Director Leon E. Panetta.

By Jeff Stein  | November 15, 2010; 2:37 PM ET
Categories:  Intelligence, Military  
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