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.


 
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

F-35B successfully completes wet runway, crosswind testing

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds F-35B aircraft BF-4, piloted by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Dan Levin, starts down the runway as part of wet runway and crosswind testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. In an important program ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Wilcox

Tyndall AFB takes F-22 pilot training to next level

Air Force photograph by MSgt. J. Wilcox Two F-22 Raptors and a T-38 Talon from Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, fly together during a 43rd Fighter Squadron Basic Course training mission Oct. 7, 2013 over Florida. A sortie begin...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OĆ­Shea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 
 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>