Heithold Becomes Air Force’s Top Commando

? Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold assumed command of Air Force Special Operations Command in a ceremony at Hulburt Field, Fla. He replaced Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, who led the organization since June 2011. “I’m fortunate to take a command that’s in the shape that it is,” said Heithold during the July 3 event. He noted that AFSOC has the best readiness posture it’s ever had. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh presided over the ceremony. Navy Adm. William McRaven, head of US Special Operations Command, also participated. Heithold took the helm of AFSOC, which comprises some 19,000 airmen, after three years as SOCOM’s vice commander. “Brad, your new command is now globally postured, and the air commandos of AFSOC will never, ever let you down,” said Fiel, who is retiring from the Air Force, effective Sept. 1, following 33 years of service. McRaven credited Fiel with transforming “AFSOC and its magnificent air commandos to meet the demands of the 21st century.” (Hurlburt report by 1st Lt. Brionna Ruff)