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Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Michael
  • 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Lt. Gen. Robin Rand assumed command of 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) after receiving the guidon from Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command, during an assumption of command ceremony at the 755th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron hangar Dec. 1.

As commander of 12th Air Force, Rand will command 10 combat wings and one RED HORSE squadron. As the air component commander of U.S. Southern Command, he will conduct security cooperation and provide air, space and cyberspace capabilities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

"If there is one word to summarize my emotions today, it is grateful," Rand said. "I'm grateful to be able to command again and serve with our great Airmen. I'm convinced those who serve in our military are the best individuals our country has to offer. They're ordinary people who do extraordinary things each and every day. I'm firmly convinced the duties our remarkable Airmen perform have never been more important than they are today."

Twelfth Air Force serves as a primary conventional fighter and bomber warfighting headquarters trained and ready for worldwide employment of airpower. It is responsible for the combat readiness of 10 active duty wings and one direct reporting unit. These subordinate commands operate more than 520 combat aircraft with more than 42,000 uniformed and civilian Airmen. The command is also responsible for the operational readiness of 13 Twelfth Air Force-gained wings and other units of the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. These units include more than 220 aircraft and 18,900 Total Force Airmen.

After taking command, Rand recited a promise to the men and women of 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH). The same promise was spoken by then-U.S. Army Capt. Harry Truman in 1918, when he assumed command of an artillery battery, the general said.

"Captain Truman simply stated, 'You soldier for me and I'll soldier for you,'" Rand said. "Men and women of 12th Air Force, today I repeat those words spoken so many years ago. I only add that I speak them not only as your new commander, but as a very humble American who is grateful that we have men and women like you who are willing to conduct our nation's toughest business. God bless each of you and God bless our cause."

Rand was commissioned in 1979 after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. During his career, he has had multiple flying tours, served as an air liaison officer with the U.S. Army and has had staff tours on the Joint Staff, Air Staff and in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

The general is a command pilot with more than 4,970 flying hours, including more than 470 combat hours. His previous commands include the 36th Fighter Squadron, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, 8th Fighter Wing, 56th Fighter Wing and the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad Air Base, Iraq.

Prior to this assignment, he served as Special Assistant to the Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters Air Force, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.