HomeNewsArticle Display

Wills takes command of 19th Air Force overseeing flying training

Lt. Gen. Steve Kwast, commander of Air Education and Training Command, passes the 19th Air Force guidon to Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, during the 19th Air Force change of command ceremony June 13, 2019, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.  The numbered Air Force oversees 19 training locations, with 17 Total Force wings, 11 active duty, one Air Force Reserve and five Air National Guard units.  More than 32,000 members of the 19th Air Force operate more than 1,600 aircraft from 29 different aircraft models. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sean M. Worrell)

Lt. Gen. Steve Kwast, commander of Air Education and Training Command, passes the 19th Air Force guidon to Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, during the 19th Air Force change of command ceremony, June 13, 2019, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. The numbered Air Force oversees 19 training locations, with 17 Total Force wings, 11 active duty, one Air Force Reserve and five Air National Guard units. More than 32,000 members of the 19th Air Force operate more than 1,600 aircraft from 29 different aircraft models. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sean M. Worrell)

Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander, addresses the men and women of the 19th Air Force for the first time as their commander during a change of command ceremony June 13, 2019, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Wills was previously the deputy chief of the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq.  He is a command pilot with more than 2,500 hours of flying time, primarily in the F-15C and F-15E. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sean M. Worrell)

Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander, addresses the men and women of the 19th Air Force for the first time as their commander during a change of command ceremony June 13, 2019, at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Wills was previously the deputy chief of the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq. He is a command pilot with more than 2,500 hours of flying time, primarily in the F-15C and F-15E. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sean M. Worrell)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) --

With the sounds of freedom and flying training as the backdrop, Maj. Gen. Craig D. Wills took the reins of the 19th Air Force from Maj. Gen. Patrick Doherty during a change of command ceremony at Hangar 4 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, June 13.

With his family, friends and Airmen from across the 19th Air Force in attendance, Wills received the guidon for the NAF that oversees flying training across Air Education and Training Command from Lt. Gen. Steve Kwast, commander of AETC, who officiated the ceremony.

“As you watch this flag being passed, you are watching a profound shift from one commander who has created out of the ashes of the past a great numbered air force command, handing it to a great leader with great moral character and courage,” Kwast said. “(Wills) has a history of being a great warrior. He is a dreamer, a visionary, a man who knows the priority of family first…You are going to see him take all of this great effort and take it to the next level (with your help).

Kwast continued, “This change of command should remind us that it is not enough to be great warriors, to defend freedom in every corner of the globe – our true job as Americans, as citizens…is to raise the next generation to be stronger and better and wiser than we are to develop resilient, clever warriors so that we never have to fire a shot...”

After receiving a decoration that outlined the numerous advances in pilot production and innovation, as well as response to natural disasters, Doherty spoke to his command for the final time. He thanked his boss and the Airmen of 19th Air Force for the chance to lead.

“What an exciting opportunity this was…we’ve been very blessed,” Doherty said. “It’s been an honor to be on your wing.” Doherty highlighted a culture of innovation initiatives going on across 19th Air Force. “When you unleash learning into the individual…and not limit them…you breed a level of exceptionalism into the hearts and minds of our warriors. I am very excited about the successes you will give our Air Forces in the future. (You continue) to find new ways to bring lethality and readiness to our future.”

In addressing the men and women of 19th Air Force for the first time, Wills thanked all those in attendance, including his family, past commanders, mentors and role models he has looked up to throughout his career before talking to the importance of airpower and Airmen.

“The true strength of our Air Force is our Airmen,” Wills said. “Our greatest weapon our Airmen wield…is our culture of innovation,” Wills said. “What makes us Airmen is not the airplanes. What makes us Airmen is that once upon a time we saw a better way to end the suffering, to shorten the wars, a better way to protect our culture, to protect our country.”

Before closing, Wills talked to the strategic importance of the NAF’s mission.

“Our country is being challenged by enemies who seek to threaten our prosperity and destroy our way of life,” Wills said. “To preserve our Republic and protect our citizens, we need to get the future faster. The old ways of the past won’t work and the men and women of 19th Air Force know this. History will also show that 19th Air Force will be equal to the moment and superior to the task. America is counting on us, so let’s get to work.”

Prior to this assignment, Wills was the deputy chief of the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq. Wills commissioned through ROTC at the University of Arizona. He is a command pilot with more than 2,500 hours of flying time, primarily in the F-15C Eagle and F-15E Strike Eagle.

Prior to Iraq, Wills was the director of Strategy, Plans and Programs at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces. He previously commanded the 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey; the 47th Operations Group at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas; and the 493rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, U.K. He was also a fellow at Harvard University and served on the 7th Air Force and U.S. Forces Korea Staffs.

Headquartered at JB San Antonio-Randolph, 19th Air Force spans and includes 19 training locations, with 17 Total Force wings including active duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units. The organization includes more than 32,000 personnel who operate more than 1,600 aircraft from 29 different aircraft models.

Members of 19th Air Force are responsible for the training and education of more than 32,000 U.S. and allied students annually in numerous specialties ranging from aircrew, remotely piloted aircraft crew, air battle manager, weapons director, and survival, escape, resistance and evasion.

Members at 19th Air Force are also responsible for Air Force Academy Airmanship programs and oversees 45% of the Air Force’s annual flying hour program.

Doherty has been the 19th Air Force commander since March 2017. He is headed to his next assignment as the director of plans, programs and requirements at Headquarters, Air Combat Command at JB Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

Engage

Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall’s first message to @USAirForce #Airmen & @SpaceForceDoD #Guardians: “If there is one phrase that summa…
Twitter
Since 1973, the remains of more than 1,000 American service members killed in the Vietnam War have been identified… https://t.co/6ZrdLbl8dP
Twitter
Frank Kendall was sworn in as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! As the department's highest-ranking civilian le… https://t.co/Fe5CXpdDlj
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Secretary Kendall has hit the ground running on his first day, meeting with Under Secretary Jones, Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. (@…
Twitter
Northern Strike, one of @DeptofDefense's largest reserve exercises, is preparing to launch. 5,100 participants from… https://t.co/VaRCeWFnb3
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: (1/2) The Secretary is in the building! The Honorable Frank Kendall arrived to the Pentagon this morning and was admini…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: After over six months in the role, A/SecAF Roth sent a farewell letter to #Airmen & #Guardians this evening: “I am in co…
Twitter
Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams at @TeamEglin, @TeamTyndall, and @HurlburtField, Florida, test a new X-Ray system… https://t.co/bombk9WqhD
Twitter
Gina Ortiz Jones was sworn in as the Under Secretary of the Air Force. The second highest-ranking civilian leader… https://t.co/9aMOfEDv6A
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "The balance between capability and capacity is delicate. That’s why our new Fighter Roadmap outlines the way to do both. Th…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: USecAF Jones attended the unveiling ceremony at the Pentagon for the 2021 National POW/MIA Recognition Day poster. #YouA
Twitter
.@AF_Academy cadets completed the Basic Cadet Training assault course in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The six-week t… https://t.co/o4hTS4B1x8
Twitter
"We were chasing the sun. We actually saw the sunset for 8 hours." - Maj. Cassidy Helregel, 89th Airlift Squadron… https://t.co/QkxIMT8CDq
Twitter
The #DAFArticStrategy discussion happens today. Register for free: https://t.co/A1r9lOlW0y https://t.co/WTLtyEt8jX
Twitter
A new Tactical Air Control Party program is now combat ready. Using multi-channel communications equipment in Humve… https://t.co/ihY1nXf9X2
Twitter
RT @SecDef: As America’s 26th Secretary of the Air Force, Frank Kendall III’s decades of expertise and impact in service to our national se…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Mr. Frank Kendall has been confirmed by the Senate as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force! In this role, he will lead ho…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The Honorable Gina Ortiz Jones has arrived! “Serving as the Under Secretary of the Air Force is an absolute honor! I’m…
Twitter
A little #MondayMotivation from the 33rd Fighter Wing “Nomads,” @TeamEglin flight line ops-- are the graduate flyin… https://t.co/Ua0opwxkWH
Twitter
The 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron conducted a mobile training team engagement with the Jamaican Defense… https://t.co/mLoRIEZxu1
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,354,660
Follow Us