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30th Space Wing welcomes new commander

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --  Lt. Gen. William Shelton, 14th Air Force commander (left), hands the guidon to Col. David Buck, 30th Space Wing commander, at a change of command ceremony here Friday. This ceremonial practice represents Colonel Buck's taking over command here. Colonel Buck is the former vice commander of the 50th Space Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Olds)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Lt. Gen. William Shelton, 14th Air Force commander (left), hands the guidon to Col. David Buck, 30th Space Wing commander, at a change of command ceremony here Friday. This ceremonial practice represents Colonel Buck's taking over command here. Colonel Buck is the former vice commander of the 50th Space Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Jonathan Olds)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The men and women of Vandenberg, civic leaders and guests gathered at the parade grounds here to welcome a new 30th Space Wing commander during a change of command ceremony Friday.

Col. Steve Tanous relinquished command to Col. David Buck, who was formally the vice commander of the 50th Space Wing.

Lt. Gen. William Shelton, 14th Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony.

"This is a historic day at the 30th Space Wing," General Shelton said. "Today we say good-bye to Colonel Tanous and his family as we welcome Colonel Buck into the position of 30th Space Wing commander."

General Shelton addressed the recent nuclear incident and applied it to the tenacity of Vandenberg's Airmen.

"The Air Force has taken a hit in the past few weeks and the 20th Air Force issue does apply to us," the 14th Air Force general said. "We are the best Air Force on the planet and our people are the most talented, most motivated force in the world. We must respond to set backs with courage and motivation."

A motivated Colonel Buck returned to Vandenberg to take control of the 30th Space Wing. He previously served in the 576th Test Squadron from 1991-1993.

"In the space business, all roads lead to Vandenberg," the new 30th Space Wing commander said. "It's good to be home!"

His remarks to the wing focused on the sterling performers at Vandenberg and his feelings on upcoming challenges.

"To the men and women of the 30th Space Wing, I am proud to serve you as your new commander," Colonel Buck said. "This nation ... the world watches everyday in awe as you make excellence routine and the complex simple. You are undoubtedly the finest team in the world. There is a lot of demanding and important work to be done and I know we are up to the challenge."