Lt. Gen. Glenn Spears accepted command of 12th Air Force/Air Forces Southern during an Aug. 7 ceremony at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., where the numbered air force has its headquarters. He replaces Lt. Gen. Norman Seip, who has led 12th AF since July 2006 and plans to formally retire Oct. 1, ending a 35 years of service in the Air Force. The Senate confirmed Spears, who last served as deputy commander of US Southern Command, for his new position on June 19. During the ceremony, at which Gen. John Corley, head of Air Combat Command, officiated, Spears said he is “deeply honored to be given this opportunity to command the legendary 12th Air Force” and expects it to continue to provide airmen “to defend our nation, support global operations, and help build the capabilities of partner nation air forces in Latin America and the Caribbean.” In his remarks, Seip said he owed “a personal debt of gratitude to the people who have helped to make the past three years a success—the airmen of 12th Air Force.” (12th AF report by TSgt. Eric Petosky)
The Air Force will begin its 71st annual Operation Christmas Drop on Dec. 4. The weeklong exercise is a yearly tradition that delivers supplies such as food, fishing equipment, school books, and clothes to remote islands in the Pacific. It is the longest-running Department of Defense humanitarian mission.