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Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces Southern) welcomes new commander

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Robin Rand (right) receives the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) guidon from U.S. Air Force Gen.  Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command, during the assumption of command ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Dec. 1. As the air component commander of U.S. Southern Command, the general will conduct security cooperation and provide air, space and cyberspace capabilities throughout the 31 nations of Latin America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Robin Rand (right) receives the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) guidon from U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command, during the assumption of command ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Dec. 1. As the air component commander of U.S. Southern Command, the general will conduct security cooperation and provide air, space and cyberspace capabilities throughout the 31 nations of Latin America and the Caribbean. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths/Released)

Airmen from 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) render first respects to U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Robin Rand as he assumes command of 12th AF during a ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Dec. 1. Before assuming command, Rand was the special assistant to the vice chief of staff of the Air Force in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Timothy D. Moore/Released)

Airmen from 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) render first respects to U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Robin Rand as he assumes command of 12th AF during a ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Dec. 1. Before assuming command, Rand was the special assistant to the vice chief of staff of the Air Force in Washington, D.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Timothy D. Moore/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brandon Fenner and Airman 1st Class Kyle Firestone, from the 388th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, reveal the name of Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, on an F-16 during an assumption of command ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Dec. 1. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Timothy D. Moore/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brandon Fenner and Airman 1st Class Kyle Firestone, from the 388th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, reveal the name of Lt. Gen. Robin Rand, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, on an F-16 during an assumption of command ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Dec. 1. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Timothy D. Moore/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Robin Rand pins on his third star with the assistance of his wife Kim and U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of  Air Combat Command,  at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Dec. 1. The promotion to lieutenant general preceded the general’s assumption of command for 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), where he will oversee operations for 10 combat wings and one RED HORSE squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths/Released)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Robin Rand pins on his third star with the assistance of his wife Kim and U.S. Air Force Gen. Mike Hostage, commander of Air Combat Command, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Dec. 1. The promotion to lieutenant general preceded the general’s assumption of command for 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern), where he will oversee operations for 10 combat wings and one RED HORSE squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Christine Griffiths/Released)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- 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.

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