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19th AF welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tim Bazar
  • 12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
Wing commanders from across the country welcomed the new 19th Air Force commander with a salute July 30 during a change of command ceremony here. 

Brig. Gen. Gregory Feest accepted command of 19th Air Force from the presiding officer, Gen. Stephen Lorenz, Air Education and Training Command commander.

Before a crowd of friends, family and Airmen and civilians assigned to the command, General Feest, who replaces Maj. Gen. Irving Halter, said he was both excited and humbled to be given the opportunity to lead the numbered air force responsible for flying training in the Air Force. 

"With 29 different airframes totaling 1,800 aircraft and a fantastic team of more than 38,000 military and civilians, this diverse command is fully committed to delivering the finest airpower warriors to our combatant commands," General Feest said. 

"I can barely contain my enthusiasm as I look forward to getting started in my new command," he said. "It's healthy, vibrant and dedicated; and that is certainly a reflection of General Halter's leadership these last years." 

Before turning over command, General Halter thanked friends, family and coworkers who helped make his tenure a success. 

"You constantly amaze me with your ingenuity, get-'er-done attitude and good humor in spite of difficult challenges," General Halter said. "After 31 years of commissioned service, you are why I still come to work. You challenge me to meet your standards of dedication and commitment -- and I am a better person because of it. 

"Thanks for the lesson, and thanks for letting me be a part of your team." 

General Feest, who will pin on his second star in a ceremony Aug. 10, returns to Randolph from the Joint Staff, where he served as deputy director of Force Application in the Directorate of Force Structure, Resources and Assessment at the Pentagon. 

He is a command pilot who has logged more than 5,200 flying hours, including more than 800 combat hours during Operations Just Cause, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.