Maj. Gen. William J. Bender will become the new Air Force CIO. (Air Force)
Defense Department officials on June 10 announced that Maj. Gen. William Bender will serve as the next Air Force CIO, replacing Lt. Gen. Michael Basla. It is not clear when the transition will take place.
Bender, officially appointed to the rank of lieutenant general and assignment as chief of information dominance and CIO, currently serves in Baghdad as deputy chief of the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq. That office “conducts security cooperation and security assistance activities which lead to an increasingly unified, democratic, stable, self-reliant Iraq,” according to Bender’s Air Force bio.
There is no official word on Basla’s next steps, but sources say he is expected to retire from the Air Force. Basla was named CIO in 2012, when he replaced Lt. Gen. Bill Lord, who retired that summer.
Prior to his current assignment in Baghdad, Bender served as commander of the Air Force Expeditionary Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. His previous commands include an airlift squadron, an operations group, an air refueling wing and an airlift wing.
Bender’s history might seem like a departure from that of the typical Air Force CIO. Basla accumulated a record of extensive work in computer systems and communications before becoming CIO. However, this CIO assignment is not Bender’s first time in that office. From August 2009 to October 2010, Bender served as director of warfighter systems integration at the Air Force’s Pentagon-based Office of Information Dominance/CIO shop.