Lt. Gen. Brad Webb has taken command of Air Force Special Operations Command from Lt. Gen. Brad Heithold during a July 19 ceremony at Hurlburt Field, Fla. In selecting an officer to command AFSOC, “Webb was the obvious choice,” Goldfein said during the ceremony. Webb previously commanded NATO Special Operations Headquarters in Belgium. Heithold noted that Webb “is a Distinguished Flying Cross recipient. This is a man who understands battle. This is a man who has been there. This is a man, an airman, who has led multi-ship formations deep into Iraq,” has commanded at all levels, and is “exactly the right person to take command.” Heithold will become principal deputy director of cost assessment and program evaluation for the Secretary of Defense. Goldfein noted that it was air commandos who rescued him after his F-16 was shot down over Serbia in 1999, “and I want to say thank you.” Webb said AFSOC will “tirelessly seek to strike a balance” among the “myriad of challenges” facing the command. “And, we will always have our most important asset, …our people, our airman and families, in mind,” he said.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.