by Staff Sgt. Jason McCasland
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
4/17/2015 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- Maj.
Gen. Richard Clark assumed command of the 8th Air Force during a change
of command ceremony at the Weapons Load Facility here, today.
As the new commander of the "Mighty Eighth," Clark is responsible for
safeguarding America's interests through strategic deterrence and global
Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, Air Force Global Strike Command commander, was the presiding officer.
"I can't think of a better or more experienced commander to take the
reins from General Vander Hamm and lead the 'Mighty Eighth' into the
future," said Wilson. "As my vice commander he seized every opportunity
to travel to [AFGSC] bases, embrace our bomber and missile culture and
promote force improvement, and many others."
After accepting command, Clark addressed Airmen of the Mighty Eighth.
"I appreciate everyone being here today. This means the world to me and a
dream come true," Clark said. "I have been able to watch the men and
women of the 'Mighty Eighth' every day, and it is my greatest honor to
be back at Eighth Air Force."
Clark also expressed his commitment to the men and women of Eighth Air Force and the bomber community.
"It's about the heritage we enjoy, the bombers we employ and the men and
women of the 'Mighty Eighth.' I will be a great wingman to you just as
it was shown to me as a young captain. It is my honor and privilege to
serve you and be your wingman, to make sure that you have everything you
need to do this mission and follow the footsteps of our forefathers...
Let's go make history."
Eighth Air Force reports to AFGSC, supports U.S. Joint Forces Command
and is designated as U.S. Strategic Command's Task Force 204, providing
on-alert, combat-ready forces to the president. Eighth Air Force
controls long-range, nuclear-capable B-2 Spirit and B-52H Stratofortress
bombers for conventional operations and nuclear deterrence.