Air Force Special Operations Command inactivated 23rd Air Force, its former warfighting headquarters, during a ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla., announced command officials. “We realized it would be more efficient to reunite the staff under AFSOC,” said Brig. Gen. Timothy Leahy, who led 23rd AF from August 2012 up until its inactivation, during the ceremony, according to Hurlburt’s April 4 release. “Our people and our mission are what really matter, and that hasn’t changed one bit,” he added. Maj. Gen. George Williams, Air Force Reserve’s mobilization assistant to the AFSOC commander, who led 23rd AF for part of 2010, took part in the flag furling with Leahy, states the release. Following the inactivation ceremony, the 623rd Air and Space Operations Center assumed 23rd AF’s mission and took on a new name: the AFSOC Operations Center. AFSOC activated 23rd AF in January 2008 with the mission of providing highly trained air commandos to support combatant commanders worldwide. (See also Weather Unit Switch.)
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.