WASHINGTON -- Gen. Gregory S. Martin requested his nomination to be commander of U.S. Pacific Command be withdrawn hours after his Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing Oct. 6.
A Pentagon statement said General Martin “has requested that his nomination by the Bush administration to be the new U.S. commander, U.S. Pacific Command, be withdrawn.” The general currently commands Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Adm. Thomas Fargo, the current PACOM commander, is scheduled to retire this fall.
General Martin withdrew his nomination after questions arose during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington. The questions surrounded the Boeing deal to lease KC-767 aircraft to be used as aerial refueling tankers, and Darlene Druyun, former principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisitions and management who pleaded guilty to conspiracy for negotiating employment with Boeing while employed as an Air Force acquisition official.
"We were saddened by General Martin's decision to withdraw his name from the nomination process, but fully understand his reasons,” said Secretary of the Air Force Dr. James G. Roche and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper.
“General Martin is a true patriot who has always put his country first,” the secretary and chief of staff said. “We have full faith and trust in his ability to continue in his command of our outstanding men and women in the Air Force Materiel Command where his command performance has been superb."
Statements and questions during the confirmation hearing by Sen. John McCain asserted that General Martin was involved in the Air Force’s proposed tanker lease agreement and the actions of Ms. Druyun.
She was sentenced Oct. 1 to nine months in federal prison by a U.S. District Court judge for conspiracy to violate Title 18, Section 208(a) of the United States Code, which governs acts affecting personal financial interest. Ms. Druyun negotiated employment with the Boeing Corporation while employed as the Air Force’s primary acquisition officer for the proposed tanker lease agreement.
General Martin is not accused of any wrongdoing.
“I believe it in the best interests of the Pacific Command and the Air Force Materiel Command for me to withdraw my nomination even though I have not been involved with the KC-767 tanker program,” General Martin said. “I’m delighted to be shoulder-to-shoulder with you, the people of AFMC, and leaders are starting to realize the Air Force does ride on your backs.
“I want each of you to know that I am proud of what you are accomplishing every day for our entire Air Force, and I am glad that I will be able to continue to work with you in the days ahead as we continue to deliver war-winning capabilities on time and on cost,” he said.
General Martin said Department of Defense and Air Force officials are working the details regarding Lt. Gen. Bruce Carlson who had previously received Senate confirmation to become the new AFMC commander, pending General Martin’s PACOM confirmation.