Maj. Gen. James Hecker pinned on a second star to take command of 19th Air Force during a ceremony at JBSA-Randolph, Texas, on June 23, announced Air Education and Training Command. Hecker fills a void left when the previous commander, Maj. Gen. Michael Keltz, resigned in April after making “inappropriate” comments during a public nonjudicial punishment proceeding?. Hecker will oversee AETC’s US and foreign aircrew training programs, spanning 19 locations, some 1,400 aircraft, and 32,000 personnel, according to a release. “Within a year, most of the people we graduate are going to go to war. We owe it to their mothers and fathers, and their daughters and sons, to make sure that they are prepared,” said Hecker. The Air Force again activated 19th AF last October to ensure proper training oversight and continuity of command. Hecker previously served as commander of the 18th Wing at Kadena AB, Japan, and is a command pilot with more than 3,200 hours flying fighters and remotely piloted aircraft.
More than 100 B-21s will be needed if the nation is to avoid creating a high demand/low capacity capability, panelists said on a Hudson Institute webinar. The B-21's flexibility, stealth, range and payload will be in high demand for a wide range of missions, both traditional and new.