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Air Force Space Command welcomes new commander

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Air Force Space Command welcomed their new commander during a change of command ceremony here Jan. 5.

Gen. William L. Shelton accepted command from Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, chief of staff of the Air Force, in front of an audience of family, community members and AFSPC personnel.

Upon acceptance of command Gen Shelton said, "I've been in and out of AF Space Command since 1986, so to have the good fortune to come back to command this great organization is truly a special privilege."

He also recognized the role AFSPC personnel have in the security of the nation, as well as the public's reliance on the command.

"Your dedicated work in both the space and cyberspace arenas keeps this command in a prominent role in our national security. It is a unique command comprised of vast technical capability, both in operations and in acquisition, with assets across the globe and reaching deep into space."

Gen Shelton stressed his desire to continue the tradition of excellence the command has built over its 28 year history.

"It's the spirit of teamwork, the willingness to listen to ideas other than our own, and the recognition of the important contributions of each and every member that makes this command hum," he said.

"I am extremely proud to be back with you as your commander, and I promise you my best efforts every day. I will likewise count on each of you to bring your best efforts every day--as I know you will."

General Shelton was also recognized by Brad Henry, Governor of the State of Oklahoma, through an official proclamation naming January 5, 2011 "General William L. Shelton Day" in his hometown of the State of Oklahoma.

General Shelton entered the Air Force in 1976 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in astronautical engineering. Prior to assuming his current position, General Shelton was the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff and the Director of the Air Staff at the Pentagon.

General C. Robert Kehler, who had served as the commander of AFSPC since October 2007, will be the next commander of U. S. Strategic Command located at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.