WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed Eric Fanning, currently serving as Deputy Undersecretary of the U.S. Navy, to be the Undersecretary of the Air Force.
Fanning, who is openly gay, was nominated to the second-highest civilian position in the Air Force by President Obama last August. He succeeds Erin Conaton, who took over as the Pentagon’s personnel and readiness chief.
Fanning’s duties will include recruiting, organizing, supplying, and mobilizing the assets of the Air Force.
He will help organize, train, equip, and provide for the welfare of more than 333,000 active duty Airmen, 178,000 Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve members, 182,000 civilians, and their families.
In addition to representing the Air Force on behalf of the Secretary, the Undersecretary is the Air Force’s chief management officer, its senior energy official, and the focal point for space issues within Air Force Headquarters.
“I very much look forward to becoming a part of the Air Force family,” Fanning said in his Senate confirmation hearing.
Article continues below“It would be my honor to play a role in making sure that the best men and women our country has to offer get all the support they need in undertaking the mission of defending our country, a mission for which they freely volunteered,” he said.
A career civilian Defense Department official, Fanning has served as the Navy’s deputy undersecretary and deputy chief management officer since July 2009.
A graduate of Dartmouth College, Fanning has also worked on Capitol Hill during the Clinton years as a research assistant with the House Armed Services Committee and then later he served as associate director of political affairs at the White House.
In service to the LGBT community, Fanning also served on the board of directors of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund from 2004 to 2007.