JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. - Gen. Mike Hostage took over U.S. Air Combat Command in an hour-long ceremony on Sept. 13, succeeding Gen. William Fraser, who will take over U.S. Transportation Command next month.
Flanked by an F-22 and an F-16, Hostage accepted the command flag from U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. In a short speech, he reflected on a key lesson from his time as the top officer of Air Forces Central Command.
"My multiple tours of CENTCOM have reaffirmed to me that the freedom we have in America is precious and must be nurtured every day," said Hostage, a command pilot who has logged more than 4,000 hours flying the F-15, F-16, E-3B and MC-12.
Schwartz praised Hostage for supplying the necessary airpower as the war in Afghanistan ramped up, including more close-air support and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance flights.
The chief praised Fraser for a range of changes to ACC, from the introduction of more high-fidelity simulators to creating a personnel recovery division.
Fraser directed the kind words to the airmen of ACC - about 10,000 of whom are deployed overseas.
"You make it look easy," he said.