Marine Corps Gen. John Allen on Monday relieved Army Gen. David Petraeus as commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. “We will keep our eyes on the horizon—the future of Afghanistan—a nation of free people at peace, governed under its constitution, pursuing economic enterprise and development, in a secure and stable environment free from the extremism and terrorism that has plagued this wonderful country and its people,” said Allen upon taking the leadership reins during a ceremony in Kabul. “In the end, together, we will prevail.” Before commanding ISAF, Allen served as US Central Command deputy commander from July 2008. The Senate earlier this month confirmed Petraeus, who’s retiring from Army service, to head the CIA. The change of command comes just as the United States and NATO are beginning the graduated handover of security to Afghan forces. (AFPS release)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.