Brig. Gen. John C. Flournoy, Jr. assumed command of Headquarters 4th Air Force, replacing Maj. Gen. Mark A. Kyle, at an assumption of command ceremony held in the Cultural Resource Center at March Air Reserve Base, Sunday, Nov. 3.
Outgoing commander, Kyle, who arrived to take command of the numbered Air Force in March 2011, has taken a position as commander, 22nd Air Force, Dobbins ARB, Ga. Prior to taking over command of 4th Air Force, Flournoy served as commander, Headquarters Air Reserve Personnel Center, Buckley Air Force Base, Colo.
Lt. Gen. James F. Jackson, Chief of the Air Force Reserve, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C., and Commander, Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Ga., served as the presiding officer for the assumption of command ceremony.
More than 200 guests attended the ceremony to welcome Flournoy as the new commander. The crowd included family, distinguished visitors, military members and prominent community leaders as well as local and state legislative officials.
Additionally, the March Field Blue Eagles Total Force Honor Guard was on hand to present the colors.
Miss Emily Flournoy, daughter of the general and his wife, Anne, sang the National Anthem at the beginning of the ceremony, prior to Jackson delivering his opening remarks.
“Fourth Air Force is one of our oldest numbered Air Forces. I think everyone in this crowd is pretty much aware (that) you were around before WWII, back in the 1940’s,” Jackson said. “Fourth Air Force was stood up right here at March Field so you have a proud heritage. We want to continue that proud heritage and this is exactly the leader to do it.”
Jackson went on to praise the fantastic work and outstanding leadership Flournoy contributed to the Air Reserve Personnel Center. He specifically keyed in on Flournoy’s role toward fixing key items associated with promotion boards and keeping everyone focused on the job during furloughs and sequestration, especially the many ARPC civilian employees.
“Without a doubt I know that this gentlemen right here has exactly what you need to lead 4th Air Force to the next level,” said Jackson.
Following the passing of the 4th Air Force guidon from Jackson to Flournoy, signifying the official assumption of command, Flournoy took the microphone to thank everyone for attending as well as to thank Jackson for the great opportunity and having the confidence in him to lead an “incredibly accomplished team of super stars.”
“We all appreciate your leadership and everything that you do on behalf of our Citizen Airmen and civilians serving in the greatest Air Force on this planet,” Flournoy said in his address to Jackson.
Flournoy went on to thank those who organized the ceremony, given the short notice and government shutdown. He gave a special thank you to his parents, his wife, Anne, and his four children for their support throughout his career.
He then directed his attention to the Airmen in attendance, addressing his troops for the first time as their commander.
“We talk about teammates and team work and I’m all about one team no seam,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what patch you’re wearing or what office you represent. I’m all about getting the work done as a team.”
He said March is a perfect example of that and one of his jobs is to make sure the team gets what it needs to support its Airmen every day.
He expressed gratitude to the former commander, Kyle, on his outstanding leadership and said he was thankful to be able to build upon that foundation.
Flournoy’s pledge to the members of 4th Air Force is to provide the resources, equipment and training necessary to get the mission done.