WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush's choice to be the next Air Force chief of staff, Gen. John Jumper, has been confirmed by the Senate.

Jumper is the commander of the Air Combat Command's headquarters at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. He will replace the retiring Gen. Michael Ryan, who will step down in October.

Jumper, a decorated fighter pilot, has been in the Air Force since 1966, and has served in various Pentagon posts.

Sen. Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who heads the Senate Armed Services Committee, called Jumper ``extraordinarily well prepared'' for the role during his Aug. 1 confirmation hearing. The Senate approved Jumper's nomination on a voice vote two days later.