North Takes Over in Pacific

Gen. Gary North took command of Pacific Air Forces Wednesday during a ceremony at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, over which Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and Adm. Timothy Keating, US Pacific Command head, presided. North, who led the air campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq since February 2006, replaced Gen. Howie Chandler, who led PACAF since November 2007 and who has received Senate confirmation to be USAF’s vice chief of staff. North has extensive experience in the Pacific, including stints commanding a group and two fighter wings in the region. “No one is better qualified,” said Schwartz. North pledged his commitment to ensuring that PACAF’s airmen and civilians continue “their legacy of valor and the traditions of honor.” He received his fourth star in a ceremony before the change of command. (Hickam report by MSgt. Allison Day)