Strategic, Global, Mighty Changes

Lt. Gen. James Kowalski is scheduled to start his new assignment as US Strategic Command’s deputy commander at Offutt AFB, Neb., on Oct. 28, Air Force Global Strike Command spokesman Lt. Col. John Sheets told the Daily Report on Wednesday. The Senate on Oct. 12 confirmed Kowalski’s nomination for the post, which President Obama announced in July. Kowalski had led AFGSC at Barksdale AFB, La., since January 2011 and played an integral role in the command since its beginnings in January 2009. On Wednesday, Kowalski passed AFGSC’s reins to Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson. Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh presided at the change-of-command ceremony at Barksdale. Wilson, who now oversees the nation’s ICBM force and nuclear-capable bombers, received a third star for this assignment. He comes to AFGSC from Barkdale’s 8th Air Force, which he led since June 2011. Replacing Wilson at the helm of “the Mighty Eighth,” is Maj. Gen. Scott Vander Hamm, who assumed command during a separate ceremony on Wednesday. He received his second star for the new post. The numbered air force manages the Air Force’s nuclear-capable B-2 and B-52 bombers. (Includes Barksdale report by A1C Joseph Raatz and Barksdale report by A1C Benjamin Raughton)