Defense

August 13, 2012

Welsh ‘humbled’ to serve as Air Force chief of staff

Tags:
by TSgt. Shawn J. Jones
JB Andrews, Md.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley swears in Gen. Mark A. Welsh III as the 20th Air Force chief of staff, assisted by Welsh’s wife, Betty, during a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 10, 2012.

The Air Force chief of staff flag passed to the service’s 20th chief in a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 10.

Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, a 36-year airman, stepped into the position, taking over for Gen. Norton Schwartz, who also retired from the Air Force during the ceremony.

“Mark is respected throughout the Air Force for his exceptional leadership and ability to connect with airmen,” Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley said.

Raised in an Air Force family, Welsh said he found a role model in his father, a decorated combat pilot.

“Today, I think he’d be proud of me,” Welsh said. “And any day a kid can make his dad proud is a great day.”

Welsh emphasized the need for airmen to understand the importance of the other services in joint operations, but also said Airmen shouldn’t underestimate the combat capabilities of their own service in winning today’s fight.

“No one else can bring what we bring to the fight, and any real war fighter knows that,” he said. “Don’t ever doubt yourself or this service.

Gen. Mark A. Welsh III addresses the audience after being sworn in as the 20th Air Force chief of staff during a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 10, 2012. Prior to his new position, Welsh was the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

Welsh also addressed his stance on issues affecting the well-being of airmen.

“When it comes to airman resiliency, suicide prevention, and sexual assault prevention and response, I believe you’re either part of the solution or you’re part of the problem,” he said. “There is no middle ground.”

Welsh also said the Air Force must shape the future and that will require innovative thinking and different approaches to problems, along with modernization.

Welsh was nominated by the president May 10 and confirmed by the Senate on Aug. 2.

In his previous position as the commander of U. S. Air Forces in Europe, he was in charge of Air Force activities in an area of operations covering nearly one-fifth of the globe.

Welsh, a 1976 graduate of the Air Force Academy, has served in numerous operational, command and staff positions, such as commandant of cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy, vice commander of Air Education and Training Command and associate director for military affairs at the Central Intelligence Agency.

“When I became a squadron commander, I felt excited. When I became a wing commander, I felt proud. When I became a major command commander, I felt privileged and a little bit old,” he said. “Today when I was sworn in as chief of staff of the Air Force, I felt humbled to be given the honor of leading its incredible airmen.”

His experience includes nearly 3,300 flying hours, most of which came in the A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley passes the chief of staff flag to Gen. Mark A. Welsh III during a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Md., Aug. 10, 2012. Prior to his new position, Welsh was the commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

As the ceremony ushered in a new chapter in Air Force history, it also served as the final chapter for Schwartz’s four years as the service’s senior uniformed leader and his more than 39 years of military service.

Schwartz’s career began in1973 after graduating from the Air Force Academy. He has logged more than 4,400 flying hours and participated in military operations in Vietnam, Iraq and Cambodia.

“Anyone looking for an example of Air Force core values need look no further than Gen. Norty Schwartz,” Donley said. “Thank you for your lasting contribution to our Air Force and the character and quality of your service.”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta presented Schwartz with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, which is awarded to service members who perform exceptionally meritorious service in a position of great responsibility.

The award citation highlighted his success in restoring excellence in the Air Force nuclear mission, his efforts to partner with joint and coalition teammates in support of operations worldwide, modernizing the Air Force’s air and space inventories, and care for Airmen and families. Schwartz’s wife Suzie was also recognized for her devotion to Airmen and family support programs.

“The Air Force has afforded us an honorable and rewarding journey for the entirety of our adult lives,” Schwartz said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Boeing photograph

CH-46 ‘Phrog’ makes its last hop

Boeing photograph The CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter commonly known as the “Phrog,” is set to retire and to be flown one last time by Reserve Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 774 on Aug. 1. The CH-46 Sea Knight is a med...
 
 

Advanced Extremely High Frequency system achieves IOC

Gen. John Hyten, the Air Force Space Command commander, declared initial operational capability for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency system July 28. The significant achievement reflects collaboration between numerous organizations, including Headquarters Air Force Space Command, the Space and Missile Systems Center, Army, Navy and the developers, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman. The s...
 
 
Navy photograph

Surface-to-surface missile test for LCS successful

Navy photograph Three missiles from a ripple fire response strike their moving targets during an engineering development test of modified Longbow Hellfire missiles. The missile system, designated the Surface-to-Surface Missile ...
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier

New interrogation system installed on AWACS, more in pipeline

Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier An E-3 Sentry AWACS from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., prepares to land May 16, 2015. AWACS have the capability to detect enemy as well as friendly aircraft at great distances usi...
 
 
Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten

U.S., Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria train together at Rapid Trident 2015

Army photograph by SFC Walter E. van Ochten U.S. soldiers, of the 3rd Platoon, 615th Military Police Company, 709th Military Police Battalion, react as they conduct reacting to contact training as part of their situational trai...
 
 
Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt

Estonian, US forces receive new jump wings

Army photograph by Sgt. Juana M. Nesbitt Pvt. Kalmer Simohov, of Parnu, a volunteer with the Estonian Defense League, receives his U.S. Army Airborne wings following the joint airborne operations exercise at a drop zone in Nurm...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>