First Air Force Commander Nominated to be NGB Vice Chief
The position of vice chief of the National Guard Bureau may soon be filled after being vacant for nearly a year.
President Donald Trump last week nominated Lt. Gen. Marc Sasseville, a District of Columbia Guardsman, to be the next No. 2 officer at the Guard Bureau. He is currently the commander of Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region and First Air Force at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.
The vice chief position was last held by Lt. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, the current director of the Army Guard. Hokanson was recently nominated to become the next NGB chief.
Sasseville’s nomination must receive Senate confirmation. The general previously served as deputy director of the Air Guard and commander of the District of Columbia’s 113th Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
An F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, he served in active component Air Force from 1985 until 1999, when he joined the Air Guard. Notably, he was one of four D.C. Air Guard fighter pilots who responded during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
According to reports, the pilots were ordered to stop United Airlines Flight 93 before it could be used to attack the U.S. Capitol. With no missiles, they were prepared to ram the airliner, but it crashed outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania, before the fighter pilots got there.
In his current role, Sasseville oversees homeland air defense for the continental United States, aerial support of civil authorities and theater security cooperation for North America.
A graduate of the Air Force Academy, the general has held squadron, group and wing command positions and also served as the senior defense official and defense attaché to Turkey.
If confirmed, Sasseville would be part of a slate of all new top leaders for the National Guard. In addition to Hokanson and Sasseville, who would serve as chief and vice chief, respectively, Trump has also nominated a new leader for the Air Guard and is expected to do the same for the Army Guard.
Maj. Gen. Michael Loh, the adjutant general of Colorado, would replace the current Air Guard director, Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice, if confirmed. The Army Guard would need a new leader, too, if Hokanson is confirmed for the Guard’s top job.