Senior Air Force space officer vouches for Hyten's character as confirmation remains on hold

By Courtney Albon / July 19, 2019 at 11:18 AM

A senior Air Force officer on Friday said the country would be "at a tremendous loss" if the administration and Congress do not move forward with a confirmation hearing for Gen. John Hyten, the nominee to serve as the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was accused of sexual misconduct by a senior military officer.

Air Force Space Command Director of Operations and Communications Brig. Gen. DeAnna Burt's comments came during an event today on Capitol Hill during which she was asked about Hyten's qualifications in light of the recent allegations. Burt, who worked directly for Hyten in 2016 and 2017, praised Hyten for his professionalism and vouched for his character.

"I can tell you I have no higher regard for anyone I work with or for than Gen. Hyten," Burt said. "He is a consummate professional, he is an inspiring leader, and the man is so incredibly smart. Our nation would have a huge loss if he is not pushed forward for his nomination and confirmation hearing."

Hyten, currently the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, was nominated in April for the vice chairman post. Defense One first reported last week that soon after his nomination, Hyten was accused by a former senior aide of making a series of unwanted sexual advances. The Air Force investigated the claims and found they could not be substantiated.

Meanwhile, following the public revelation of the allegations, Hyten's confirmation has been stalled. A hearing date has not yet been scheduled.