Helms Takes the Helm

Lt. Gen. Susan Helms has taken command of 14th Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) and US Strategic Command’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space, both located at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. She succeeds Lt. Gen. Larry James, who served in those roles since December 2008 and is now head of intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance on the Air Staff. Helms comes to Vandenberg from STRATCOM headquarters at Offutt AFB, Neb., where she was in charge of the command’s plans and policy since November 2008. Gen. Kevin Chilton, STRATCOM boss, and Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, presided over the change-of-command ceremony on Jan. 21 Prior to assuming command that day, Helms received her third star. The Air Force announced Helms’ new assignment last September. (Vandenberg report by Maj. Stacie Shafran)