Gen. Mike Hostage assumed command of Air Combat Command from Gen. William Fraser during a ceremony at JB Langley-Eustis, Va. Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz presided over Tuesday’s change-of-command ceremony. Hostage, who led Air Forces Central since August 2009, received his fourth star prior to taking ACC’s helm. “Your support during my time [at AFCENT] really made the difference,” he told the hundreds of airmen present. Schwartz said the Air Force has “complete confidence” in Hostage’s ability to excel as head of the combat air forces. “These last few years have presented some of the greatest possible challenges to the CAF as we sought to balance organizing, training, and equipping aircrews to win today’s war with preparing them for tomorrow’s needs,” noted Schwartz. Fraser, who served as ACC commander since September 2009, is moving to his new assignment as head of US Transportation Command at Scott AFB, Ill. (Langley release)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.