JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AFNS) -- Joining a proud legacy of leaders, Gen. C.Q. Brown Jr. assumed command of Pacific Air Forces during a ceremony here, July 26, 2018.
Presiding over the ceremony, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. Wilson expressed confidence in Brown and his abilities to lead those within his area of responsibility.
“When it came time to pick the new PACAF commander, General Brown was the obvious choice,” Wilson said. “He’s steeped in the critical role of strengthening our alliances and partnerships in order to deter aggression, maintain stability, and ensure free access to global domains. He is a combat-proven leader, supporting multiple operations. He’s gained a tremendous perspective of the Air Force through his operational warfighting experiences and lenses.”
Wilson described one of Brown’s recent roles as the “operational architect, leading and managing the air war that decimated the Islamic state. As then-General Mattis once stated, ‘Put CQ in the war, and the enemy will pay.’” Wilson went on to describe Brown’s role at U.S. Central Command, where he strengthened political-military ties and helped shape issues for key decision makers.
“In your new commander, PACAF has a joint Airman who is recognized as one of the top team builders, warfighting experts, and leaders, not only in the Air Force but in the entire U.S. military. That’s why he is the right person at the right time,” Wilson said.
As the 35th PACAF commander, or COMPACAF, Brown now leads 46,000 Airmen throughout an area of responsibility that covers more than 100 million square miles and extends from the west coast of the United States to the east coast of Africa and from the Arctic to the Antarctic.
“Pacific Airmen serve as our nation’s ambassadors in an area larger than all, and as complicated as any,” Wilson said. “As a component commander, the Airmen here must be ready to employ with the lethality our joint force and our nation depends on… and the level of readiness our diplomats expect.”
Adm. Phil Davidson, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command commander, welcomed Brown to the Indo-Pacific.
“Leading a component command and integrating the air component in joint warfare is not a new concept for Gen. CQ Brown,” Davidson said. “He has passed the test of leadership multiple times, commanding forces both forward deployed and back home. I know CQ to be a man of integrity, and a man with extraordinary leadership skills … I know you are the right leader for PACAF and I am honored to have you as part of the team.”
Upon accepting the PACAF flag from Wilson, Brown conveyed his readiness to take on the challenges presented in this complex region.
“I have no doubt the Indo-Pacific will continue to have its share of challenges,” Brown said. “But every challenge provides an opportunity to demonstrate success or to strengthen a relationship. As INDOPACOM takes steps to implement the National Defense Strategy, PACAF, with its sister components, will have to continue to rethink how we think about the Indo-Pacific region. We will build upon a mature, agile combat employment and strategic shaping concepts so that PACAF can provide combat-ready Airmen that contribute to a more lethal, more resilient, and more rapidly innovative joint and combined force.”
Brown closed by communicating his core principles and commitment to the continued advancement of PACAF’s mission before receiving his first salute as the new COMPACAF.
“No matter the challenges and opportunities that come our way, I will lead using four tenants that I have operated with throughout my career: execute a high standard, be disciplined in execution, pay attention to detail, and have fun,” Brown said. “I look forward to working together to employ the resources provided by our chief of staff, Gen. David Goldfein, and our Air Force to deliver the air, space and cyberspace capabilities Admiral Davidson, INDOPACOM and our nation require, to promote security cooperation, encourage peaceful development, respond to contingencies, deter aggression and, when necessary, fight to win.”
Gen. T.J. O’Shaughnessy relinquished command of PACAF May 20 before becoming the commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command in Colorado.
Following O’Shaughnessy’s departure, Lt. Gen. Jerry Martinez was appointed to command PACAF until Brown was confirmed by the Senate and assumed command. Martinez resumes his previous duties as commander of U.S. Forces Japan and Fifth Air Force, at Yokota Air Base, Japan.