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Cape Canaveral Commander Headed to NRO

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton. Credit: USAF

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton, whom SpaceNews profiled earlier this month, is leaving Cape Canaveral for Chantilly to take the No. 2 job at the National Reconaissance Office (NRO), Florida Today reports.

As the Defense Department agency that builds the nation's fleet of classified spy satellites, the NRO is one of the Cape's biggest launch customers. 

Cotton, 49, wil replace Maj. Gen. Susan Mashiko, the former program executive officer for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, the ill-fated tri-ageny attempt at building a civil-miltiary weather satellite system.

No word yet on where Mashiko is going.

45th Space Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Anthony Cotton is being assigned as deputy director at the National Reconnaissance Office, a position that will take him to northern Virginia, but one he said will keep him in close ties with Patrick Air Force Base.

Col. Nina Armagno, who has been selected to become a brigadier general, will become the new commander of the 45th Space Wing and director of the Eastern Range at Patrick Air Force Base.

A date for the change of command at Patrick Air Force Base has not been announced.


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