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In The Loop
Posted at 05:23 PM ET, 09/18/2012

Senate may confirm new missile defense chief

Army Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly, Missile Defense Agency director (Alex Wong - Getty Images)
Buzz on the Hill has it that the nomination of Rear Adm. James Syring to head the Missile Defense Agency may be voted out of the Senate Armed Services Committee in the next few days for a possible confirmation vote before the Senate takes off at the end of this week until after the election.

The move would bring to a close the somewhat stormy, four-year tenure of Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, who was sharply criticized by the Pentagon inspector general in a May report that faulted him for an abusive management style.

That’s likely why the MDA ranked 223rd out of 224 smaller federal government operations in a “Best Places to Work” survey a couple years ago by the Partnership for Public Service.

The possibility of a Senate confirmation this week seems a bit swift given the Senate’s somewhat leisurely pace of late on confirming administration nominees. But we were assured that the Senate is treating this as a routine nomination, just moving it along before adjournment.

One factor in favor of that scenario is that Syring is hardly an unknown commodity. He’s said to be well-respected in defense circles and is the Navy’s program executive officer for integrated warfare systems. If confirmed, Syring, now a one-star, would get two more stars as a vice admiral.

A factor working against that timetable is that, with the Senate these days, you just never know.

By  |  05:23 PM ET, 09/18/2012

Tags:  Senate, Jim Syring, James Syring, Missile Defense Agency, MDA, Parick O'Reilly, Pentagon, inspector general, report, Al Kamen, Emily Heil, In the Loop

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