An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) holds change of command ceremony

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Kelly Ogden
  • 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) Public Affairs
Lt. Gen. Tod Wolters became the commander of 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) during a change-of-command ceremony here, Sept. 24.

General Wolters assumed command from Lt. Gen. Robin Rand in a ceremony officiated by Gen. Mike Hostage, Commander, Air Combat Command. General Wolters comes to Tucson from his previous assignment as the Director of the Air Force's Legislative Liaison Office at the Pentagon. General Rand, who has been selected for the rank of general, will go on to assume command of the Air Education and Training Command at Lackland AFB, Texas.

"It has been an absolute pleasure working alongside you these past 30 years," Hostage told Rand. "I've seen first-hand how you've delivered in every challenge put before you. Air Education and Training Command is gaining a great leader."

During the ceremony, General Rand also expressed thanks, admiration and praise for General Hostage, Marine Gen. John Kelly, Commander, U.S. Southern Command, and all commanders, officers, senior-enlisted leaders, non-commissioned officers, Airmen, civilians and families under his charge.

"No commander could have had a better championship team then the one I just played on," Rand said. "I'm convinced that those who serve in uniform are the best our country has to offer ... we are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances."

After the traditional passing of the flag to signify the change of command, General Wolters took center stage, thanking General Rand for being an "extraordinary leader, who always led from the heart" while also reminding the men and women of 12th AF (AFSOUTH) of our history that began with Gen. James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle, a man known for his resolve that no detail was too small and no challenge was too big.

Wolters then conveyed to Airmen under his command that they should think of two people when charged with planning and executing the mission; the young child in the USSOUTHCOM area of responsibility (AOR) who is on his way to a better life because of hard-work and dedication from AFSOUTH Airmen, and the cold, lonely, hungry and thirsty foot-soldier on patrol in Afghanistan who depends on Airmen to maintain control of the skies.

As the ceremony ended, General Rand and his wife, Kim, made their final exit to begin a new journey at AETC, while General Wolters and his wife, Charlene, met with hundreds of Airmen who were eager to greet their new commander.

12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) is responsible for the combat readiness of 10 active-duty wings, including the 355th Fighter Wing also located at Davis-Monthan AFB, and one direct reporting unit. These subordinate commands operate more than 800 aircraft with more than 64,500 uniformed and civilian Airmen. Additionally, as the air and space component to U.S. Southern Command, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) fosters cooperation with partner-nation air forces throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.