Allen confirmed for brigadier general rank, Cotton confirmed for third star

Ron Allen, commander of Malmstrom Air Force Base, has been confirmed for promotion to brigadier general.

The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Allen and also confirmed Anthony Cotton for the rank of lieutenant general.

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Cotton previously served as commander of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom and is currently the commander of 20th Air Force at Global Strike Command and U.S. Strategic Command’s Task Force 214 at F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming. Cotton will next take command of Air University at Maxwell AFB in Alabama.

Allen was among 1,317 eligible colonels for promotion to the rank of brigadier general. Among those, 36 were nominated and forwarded by President Trump for Senate confirmation. The promotion rate is 2.7 percent, according to the Air Force.

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“Col. Allen has led the men and women at Malmstrom on one of the most vital missions to our national security with honor and distinction,” said Sen. Steve Daines. “It was my honor to support his confirmation as a general officer.”

Allen assumed command of the 341st Missile Wing in April 2016, following Brig. Gen. Tom Wilcox, who was also nominated and confirmed for his first star while serving as Malmstrom’s commander. Wilcox has replaced Col. Rob Stanley who had been nominated for his first star but resigned amidst a cheating investigation of missile crew officers at Malmstrom.

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“It’s a great honor to serve with someone of Col. Allen’s caliber and character,” said Col. Peter Bonetti, 341st MW vice commander. “I’m grateful to see the Senate confirmation. It’s an acknowledgement that Col. Allen’s senior leadership is vital to the Air Force and the United States.”

The wing’s 4,000 personnel are responsible for base support, maintenance, security and operation of 150 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles located throughout a 13,800 square-mile complex in central Montana.

Also confirmed for the rank of brigadier general was Health Collins, the system program manager for the acquisition of the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent at the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center.