U.S. Air Force General Lori Robinson has been selected as the next head of the U.S. military's Northern Command, which would make her the first woman to head a U.S. combatant command, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday.

The position, which is subject to Senate confirmation, is one of the most senior in the U.S. military and would make Robinson -- who now leads U.S. air forces in the Pacific -- the top general overseeing activities in North America.

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"General Robinson, it just so happens, would also be the first ever female combatant commander," Carter told an event in Washington hosted by Politico.