Hecker Takes Command of Air University

Lt. Gen. James Hecker recently received his third star and took over as commander and president of Air University during a Nov. 22 ceremony at Maxwell AFB, Ala.

Hecker was previously the vice director of operations for the Joint Staff, and before that he ran air operations in Afghanistan. He replaces Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, who left the position in October to become the deputy commander of Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Forces Strategic-Air at Barksdale AFB, La.

“Thank you for the opportunity of command,” Hecker said at the ceremony, according to an Air University release. “If you look at China, if you look at Russia, they are catching up to us … when it comes to military equipment. They haven’t caught up to us in human capital and that’s what we do here: We develop and we nurture human capital. That’s what we need to have a competitive edge on our adversaries.”

Air University is responsible for professional military education and academic degrees, with more than 50,000 resident- and 120,000 non-resident-students, along with commissioning officers through the Officer Training School and Reserve Officer Training Corps.