News>New commander takes reins of U.S. Air Forces Central Command
Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, passes the U.S. Air Forces Central Command guidon to Lt. Gen. David L. Goldfein at the USAFCENT change of command ceremony, Aug. 3, 2011, in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Paul Labbe)
Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, speaks during the U.S. Air Forces Central Command change of command ceremony in Southwest Asia, Aug. 3, 2011. Lt. Gen. David L. Goldfein assumed command from Lt. Gen. Gilmary Michael Hostage III. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Paul Labbe)
Lt. Gen. David L. Goldfein, commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, speaks during the USAFCENT change of command ceremony in which he assumed command, Aug. 3, 2011, in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Paul Labbe)
8/3/2011 - U.S. AIR FORCES CENTRAL COMMAND, Southwest Asia -- Lt. Gen. David L. Goldfein took command of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, from Lt. Gen. Gilmary Michael Hostage III during a change of command ceremony Aug. 3 in Southwest Asia. Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, commander of U.S. Central Command, presided.
As the Air Component Commander for U.S. Central Command, Goldfein is responsible for developing contingency plans and conducting air operations in a 20-nation area of responsibility covering Central and Southwest Asia.
"I am extremely honored to join General Mattis' team as his air component commander during a unique time in this region's history," Goldfein said. "While there are many challenges ahead, there are an equal number of opportunities. I'm also humbled to follow General Hostage, who has done such an extraordinary job of building partnerships across this region that are absolutely central to success. Finally, I look forward to leading and serving with the thousands of deployed U.S. and coalition Airmen as we continue to bring essential vigilance, reach, and power to this area of responsibility."
Prior to this assignment, Goldfein was the director of operations at Headquarters Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va.
The general received his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1983. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and is the last pilot to complete qualification training in the F-117A, and the first general officer to check out in the MQ-9 Reaper. He has deployed in support of operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Deliberate Force, and Allied Force. Goldfein is a command pilot with more than 4,100 flying hours in the T-37, T-38, F-16C/D, F-117A and MQ-9.
Hostage will be promoted to the rank of general and assume command of Air Combat Command at Langley AFB.
"It has been an incredible privilege to be a part of such a dynamic joint and combined team that provides tremendous airpower to our supported commanders," said Hostage. "We have built phenomenal relationships with our surrounding host nation partners with the shared goal of providing a secure environment in this region for years to come."
He said he and his wife Kathy are honored to have the chance to continue to serve.