OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. – With a salute and the words, "Sir, I accept command," Maj. Gen. Floyd L. Carpenter took command of the Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike from Lt. Gen. Robert J. Elder, at 10:30 a.m. , in a change of command ceremony here today.
Lt. Gen. Elder will have a retirement ceremony following the 8th Air Force change of command ceremony to be held at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. , on June 1. Lt. Gen. Elder will retire with 34 years of service.
Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, Commander, United States Strategic Command, presided over the ceremony, and welcomed General Carpenter in commanding a "great war fighting organization.
"We know the future will continue to test war fighters in new and increasingly challenging ways, and I feel confident"" knowing that you're at the helm and taking (the command) forward to the next level," said General Chilton of Maj. Gen. Carpenter's leadership.
All smiles is Maj. Gen. Floyd L. Carpenter, newest commander of theJoint Functional Component Command for Global Strike, after his change of command ceremony.
Maj. Gen. Carpenter accepted his new command, saying, "It's probably going to take me about a week to get this smile off my face"" I'm really excited, and I'm really proud," and thanked General Chilton for the opportunity to lead JFCC Global Strike.
"I am humbled and privileged to command such a prestigious joint organization," said Maj. Gen. Carpenter.
The new Global Strike commander spoke of the short history of the command, but related how the command's history is steeply rooted in the history of the Cold War. "This is important work – nuclear operations, strategic deterrence, global strike (are) serious business," said the general.
"Our nation depends on all of us to get it right, so together we will continue to build on your successes, we will train hard, we will plan exquisitely and we will increase outreach to improve capabilities for other combatant commanders," said Maj. Gen. Carpenter.
During the ceremony, General Chilton passed on saying goodbye to Lt. Gen. Elder, instead choosing to say, "Farewell," to the man who "pioneered the path for operationalizing strategic deterrence at the component level.
"Your relentless emphasis on (JFCC) Global Strike's nuclear responsibilities dramatically improved the performance of the command's nuclear command and control capability and nuclear planning"" and your focus on ensuring readiness of this no-fail strategic mission has been impressive," General Chilton said.
The general also praised General Elder for his work in the cyberspace domain, citing his "deep and vast knowledge of cyberspace operations" as critical contributions to the dialogue and debate regarding the way forward in the cyber arena, one of the three main lines of operation in U.S. Strategic Command.
"I'm confident that the work you'll undertake in the next chapter of your life will bear positive fruits for those of us concerned with all things cyber and all things deterrent," the USSTRATCOM commander said of Lt. Gen. Elder's upcoming retirement.
Lt. Gen. Robert J. Elder, Jr. , 8th Air Force commander (right), congratulates Maj. Gen. Floyd L. Carpenter (center) after he assumed command of the Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike
Lt. Gen. Elder thanked the USSTRATCOM staff, fellow JFCC commanders and deputy commanders, senior enlisted leaders, and General Chilton, as well as the local community leaders in attendance, for their support, guidance, and for making him and his wife feel at home while at Offutt.
He emphasized his pride in watching the work of the men and women of Global Strike, saying, """they've reinvigorated the concept of strategic deterrence"" doing phenomenal work" in integrating kinetic, non-kinetic and conventional capabilities.
The general concluded his outgoing remarks by saying he was pleased his last assignment was a joint one, saying, "It's been an honor to serve with all of you"" the opportunity to work alongside the incredible professionals" in all service branches is "second to none. "
Maj. Gen. Carpenter most recently served as Vice Commander, 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, La. He has commanded at the squadron, group, and wing levels, and from November 2002 through May 2003, he deployed as the Commander, 40th Air Expeditionary Wing, where he directed combat forces in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He is a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours in the B-52 and T-38, including 300 combat hours. Maj. Gen. Carpenter will take command of the "Mighty 8th" June 1 from Lt. Gen. Elder.
JFCC-GS integrates all elements of military power in support of the Commander, United States Strategic Command global missions. JFCC-GS provides integrated global strike capabilities to deter and dissuade threats and when directed, defeat adversaries through decisive joint global kinetic and non-kinetic combat effects.
For more information about the JFCC-GS and U.S. Strategic Command, visit www.stratcom.mil.