WASHINGTON _ The Senate unanimously confirmed CIA Director Leon Panetta on Tuesday to serve as the next secretary of defense.
Panetta, who was tapped by President Obama in April to succeed Robert Gates as head of the Pentagon, is expected to assume his new post early next month. Gates had earlier announced that he planned to step down this year after serving as defense secretary for 4 1/2 years.
The Senate's 100-0 confirmation of Panetta comes at a time of wide-ranging changes to Obama's national security team. On Thursday, Gen. David Petraeus, whom Obama has named as his choice to succeed Panetta at the CIA, faces a confirmation hearing before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee. The same day, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to vote on the nomination of Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, to succeed Karl Eikenberry as ambassador to Afghanistan.
Fort Riley soldier killed in Afghanistan
FORT RILEY — A 1st Infantry Division soldier from Fort Riley was killed Monday while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Pfc. Gustavo Adolfo Rios-Ordonez, 25, died of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device while on foot patrol near West Pashmul in southern Afghanistan. He was assigned to 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
A native of Colombia, Rios-Ordonez joined the Army in August 2010 as an infantry mortarman. This was his first deployment.