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12th Air Force commander retires after 33 years of service

General William Fraser III, Air Combat Command commander, and Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears render salutes to the American Flag during the National Anthem during General Spears' retirement ceremony June 1 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

General William Fraser III, Air Combat Command commander, and Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears render salutes to the American Flag during the National Anthem during General Spears' retirement ceremony June 1 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears returns a final salute to the men and women of 12th Air Force during his retirement ceremony June 1 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears returns a final salute to the men and women of 12th Air Force during his retirement ceremony June 1 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears (right background) watches the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Honor Guard fold a flag during his retirement ceremony June 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears (right background) watches the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Honor Guard fold a flag during his retirement ceremony June 1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

General William Fraser III (left), Air Combat Command commander, presents the Military Spouse Medal to Kim Spears, wife of Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears (right) during General Spears' retirement ceremony June 1 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

General William Fraser III (left), Air Combat Command commander, presents the Military Spouse Medal to Kim Spears, wife of Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears (right) during General Spears' retirement ceremony June 1 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

General William Fraser III (left), Air Combat Command commander, presents a Distinguished Service Medal to Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears during General Spears' retirement ceremony June 1 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

General William Fraser III (left), Air Combat Command commander, presents a Distinguished Service Medal to Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears during General Spears' retirement ceremony June 1 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears (right) awards the Military Child Medal to his daughters Kristin and Katelyn alongside his wife Kim during his retirement ceremony June 1 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears (right) awards the Military Child Medal to his daughters Kristin and Katelyn alongside his wife Kim during his retirement ceremony June 1 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brittany Dowdle)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Lt. Gen. Glenn F. Spears, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) commander, retired from active duty after 33 years of service during a ceremony here June 1st.

"(Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears) has had a positive impact on so many Airmen and so many families," said General William Fraser III, Air Combat Command commander. "It's easy to see from the crowd gathered here today that Glenn is a respected Airman. He's a humble Airman. He's an Airman's Airman. Glenn and Kim have truly left a lasting impact on our Air Force."

General Spears received his commission upon graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1978. He commanded a combined operations-maintenance bomb squadron, an operations group, an air refueling wing and an airlift wing. He also commanded the 100th Air Expeditionary Wing during Operation ALLIED FORCE, leading combat and combat support operations with more than 75 B-1, B-52, E-3, KC-135 and RC-135 aircraft, their crews and support personnel. Prior to assuming command of 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH) in August 2009, General Spears was the Deputy Commander of U.S. Southern Command. He is a command pilot with more than 3,400 flying hours in 16 types of Air Force aircraft.

"Today is the day that marks the ceremonial close to the Air Force chapter my life and the life of my family," General Spears said. "It's been a wonderful 33 years, richly filled with family, thousands of friends, experiences, opportunities, happiness, shared pain, and countless memories."

"I'm confident in the skills, the abilities, and the energy of our Airmen" he continued. "As the senior three-star in the Air Force, I can see that the future of our service is very bright. With my wife, Kim's, continued support, I'm ready to pass the reigns of command to another Airman and transition to private life. It has been my great honor to serve our nation and Air Force for more than 33 years. I am confident in the civilian, enlisted, and officer leaders who are preparing and have proven themselves ready to lead for the next 33 years."

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