National

U.S. Pacific Command officer to be new commander in Japan

Kyodo

The U.S. Defense Department said Wednesday the chief of staff of the Pacific Command, Maj. Gen. John Dolan of the Air Force, has been nominated as the next commander of the country’s military force in Japan.

Dolan will succeed Lt. Gen. Salvatore Angelella as the head of U.S. Forces Japan in Yokota Air Base, western Tokyo, after the Senate endorses the nomination by President Barack Obama.

Dolan will double as commander of the Fifth Air Force, according to the Pentagon. He was posted to Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture as an F-16 jet pilot from 1988 to 1992.

The new U.S. military commander-nominee is expected to tackle issues related to the bilateral security alliance, such as the controversial relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa and the first update since 1997 of guidelines on bilateral defense cooperation.

Angelella, who took the post in July 2012, led various operations during his tenure in Japan, including the deployment of the MV-22 Osprey transport airplanes to Okinawa activities aimed at helping Japan recover from the devastating March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.