Winnefeld Mixes Battlefield, Pentagon Expertise

WASHINGTON, May 30, 2011 — Navy Adm. James A. “Sandy” Win­nefeld, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s pick to be the next vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has a com­bi­na­tion of bat­tle­field expe­ri­ence and head­quar­ters exper­tise.

Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld
Navy Adm. James A. Win­nefeld is Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s nom­i­nee to be the next vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Here, Win­nefeld, the com­man­der of U.S. North­ern Com­mand, speaks at the annu­al con­fer­ence of the Nation­al Guard Asso­ci­a­tion of the Unit­ed States in Austin, Texas.
Army file pho­to by Staff Sgt. Jim Green­hill
Click to enlarge

Win­nefeld will suc­ceed Marine Corps Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright, if the Sen­ate con­firms him. He cur­rent­ly serves as com­man­der of U.S. North­ern Com­mand and the North Amer­i­can Aero­space Defense Com­mand in Col­orado Springs, Colo.

The admi­ral was the cap­tain of the USS Enter­prise when the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 occurred. The air­craft car­ri­er had fin­ished its mis­sion and was head­ing home. With­our orders, Win­nefeld turned the car­ri­er around and was in posi­tion to launch strikes on al-Qai­da. The Enter­prise air group flew almost 700 com­bat sor­ties in Oper­a­tion Endur­ing Free­dom.

The admi­ral received his com­mis­sion as a naval avi­a­tor after grad­u­at­ing with high hon­ors from the Geor­gia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy in 1978. He flew F-14 Tom­cat jets and com­mand­ed fight­er squadron VF-211. He lat­er com­mand­ed the USS Cleve­land – an amphibi­ous trans­port ship – before com­mand­ing the Enter­prise.

Win­nefeld, now 55, also com­mand­ed the USS Theodore Roo­sevelt Car­ri­er Strike Group in actions sup­port­ing Oper­a­tion Iraqi Free­dom.

He then com­mand­ed the U.S. 6th Fleet in the Mediter­ranean. The job also called on him to com­mand the Strik­ing and Sup­port Forces NATO and as the deputy com­man­der for U.S. Naval Forces, Europe.

In the Pen­ta­gon, he served as direc­tor for strate­gic plans and pol­i­cy on The Joint Staff.

Oth­er shore tours include being an action offi­cer in the Joint Staff Oper­a­tions Direc­torate, as senior aide to the chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as the exec­u­tive assis­tant to the vice chief of naval oper­a­tions.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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