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Tribute To Lt. Gen. Michael C. Short, Usaf

Sen. Richard C. Shelby

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Mr. President, today, I recognize the outstanding service to our Nation of Lieutenant General Michael C. Short. Lt. General Short will retire on July 1, 2000, after an outstanding career in the United States Air Force. During a 35 year career, General Short distinguished himself as a fighter pilot, warfighter, and trusted leader.

Throughout his career, General Short commanded at all levels, both overseas and in the continental United States. A 1965 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, he is a command pilot with more than 4,600 flying hours in fighter aircraft, including 276 combat missions in Southeast Asia. His impressive list of accomplishments include command of the 4th Aircraft Generation Squadron, 334th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4450th Tactical Group, 355th Tactical Training Wing, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing and the 4404th Composite Wing.

During his last assignment, General Short commanded the Allied Air Forces Southern Europe, Stabilization Forces Air Component, and Kosovo Forces Air Component, Naples, Italy, and the 16th Air Force and 16th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Aviano Air Base, Italy. As commander of these forces, he was the air principal subordinate commander and the joint and combined forces air component commander for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) Southern Region. He also was responsible for the planning and employment of NATO's air forces in the Mediterranean area of operations from Gibraltar to Eastern Turkey and air operations throughout the Balkans. General Short led the 16th Air Force during what was, without question, the most demanding period in its history--a time when it fulfilled a NATO mission of peace enforcement in Bosnia-Herzegovina and later, participated in a NATO-led air war, which removed Slobodan Milosevic's Serbian military and police forces from Kosovo.

A consummate professional, General Mike Short's performance of duty during the past thirty-five years of service personify those traits of courage, competency and integrity that we expect from our military officers. His career reflects a deep commitment to our country, to dedicated and selfless service, and to excellence. On behalf of the United States Senate and the people of this great Nation, I commend him for his exemplary service and offer heartfelt appreciation for a job well done. We wish him and his family Godspeed and all the best in their future endeavors.