WASHINGTON, D.C.—According to an announcement from the Department of Defense, Air Force Lieutenant General Jeffrey Harrigian has been nominated to lead U.S. Air Forces Europe-U.S. Air Forces Africa Command. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced late Tuesday that President Donald Trump had picked Harrigian for the position.
Harrigian, who will pin on his fourth star if the nomination is approved, is currently the USAFE deputy commander under Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters. The Pentagon said March 15 that the president has appointed Wolters to be the next supreme allied commander of NATO and head of U.S. European Command, replacing retiring Army Gen. Curtis M. “Mike” Scaparrotti.
Like Wolters, Harrigian is a fighter pilot and U.S. Air Force Academy alumnus, having graduated from the Colorado Springs, Colorado service academy in 1985. Harrigian has more than 4,000 hours flying the F-22, F-15C and MQ-1 Predator.
Harrigian previously served as commander of Air Forces Central Command and the combined forces air component between 2016 and 2018, overseeing the air campaign against the Taliban in Afghanistan and against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, during a critical time in the war against the Islamic State, which has seen its territory greatly diminished in these areas.
Prior to his Middle East post, he was director of the F-35 Integration Office at Air Force headquarters in the Pentagon. Harrigian will be responsible for providing airpower to U.S. European and U.S. Africa commands — an area that includes 104 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.