VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Lt. Gen. Larry James assumed command of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force in a change-of-command ceremony at the Joint Space Operations Center here Tuesday.
General James assumed command from Lt. Gen. Willie Shelton upon his selection for reassignment to the Pentagon where he will serve as chief of Warfighting Integration, and chief Information Officer of the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force in Washington, D.C.
Throughout the ceremony, the speakers focused on taking the infant command to the next level.
"Larry James, whether he knows it or not has been preparing for this job his entire career," General Chilton said. "This is the right guy at the right time to take JFCC SPACE to the next level. When (General James) was out here in 1999, our (Air and Space Operations Center) was a table with six computers on it. Today, General Shelton has built an AOC we can be proud of, and (General James) is going to take it the next step. "
General Chilton highlighted dramatic space-related events from the last three years, including the Chinese anti-satellite test and Operation Burnt Frost, which brought huge challenges to the new command and had direct impacts on the United States.
"You won't hear much about it," General Chilton said. "Because what our folks do in space surveillance, day in and day out, is done quietly and professionally. They just flat make it happen. "
General James said he is confident in his new role and is excited to be a part of something that has an effect on everyday life for people around the world.
"As you look at what these folks do, day in and day out, I believe they are making a difference in our lives," General James said. Every day they are providing a capability to the warfighter and ordinary Americans. That's what it's all about for us at the JFCC SPACE and the 14th Air Force. We bring space capabilities to the fight, and we won't forget that. The men and women here make it happen. "
He expressed his excitement to return to Vandenberg for his second tour and continue the growth of JFCC SPACE and the 14th AF.
"It's an honor for us to be here, it's an honor for us to be at Vandenberg and it's an honor for us to carry on the legacy of the fine people that were here before us," General James said.