The 19th Air Force activated under Air Education Training Command on Oct. 1. The new unit, which was inactivated in 2012, was brought back at the direction of Gen Robin Rand, AETC commander, who identified a need for “realigning responsibilities to reinforce proper command relationships and training oversight,” according to an Air Force release. The new 19th Air Force will be headquartered at JBSA-Randolph, Texas, and will include 19 training locations, 10 regular Air Force wings, six Guard and Reserve wings, approximately 32,000 personnel, and 1,350 aircraft spanning 29 different models. Maj. Gen. Michael Keltz will be appointed commander of the numbered air force, states a Sept. 29 release. “This restructuring within AETC will move all formal aircrew flying training missions under General Keltz’s command,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh. “AETC has a wide range of responsibility when it comes to training and educating airmen. Our flying training mission requires a significant level of coordinated oversight to ensure our airmen in the skies remain the best in the world and 19th Air Force will take on that responsibility.”
As the Pentagon increasingly pivots its focus to strategic competition with China, the U.S. will look to expand its partnership with South Korea to increase security across the entire Indo-Pacific region, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said Dec. 2 during a visit to the northeastern Asian nation.