by Senior Airman Jonathan Bass
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
7/2/2015 - SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Lt.
Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. assumed command of U.S. Air Forces Central
Command from Lt. Gen. John W. Hesterman III during a ceremony here June
The ceremony was officiated by U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, U.S.
Central Command commander, who travelled to Shaw from his headquarters
in Tampa, Florida, for the event.
"It is totally awesome to be here today," Brown said to the group of
more than 300 Airmen, community leaders and distinguished visitors,
including representatives from coalition partner nations Qatar, Egypt
and Jordan, at the ceremony. "To have Airmen in formation representing
not just AFCENT but all the Airmen from all the nations that operate
together in the Central Command area of responsibility is amazing."
Brown, who was promoted to lieutenant general earlier that morning,
inherits an organization that works closely with its partners in
Southwest Asia to ensure the stability of the region. In addition to
serving as USAFCENT commander, he is also the Combined Force Air
Component Commander for the theater.
An F-16 pilot by trade, Brown has commanded a fighter squadron, the U.S.
Air Force Weapons School, and two fighter wings. Most recently he
served as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa director
of operations, strategic deterrence, and nuclear integration at Ramstein
Air Base, Germany.
Originally from San Antonio, Tex., the general commissioned in 1984
after attending Texas Tech University on an Air Force ROTC scholarship.
He thanked many people for his continued successes including his family,
the Sumter community, and Austin for his trust and confidence.
Austin, in his speech, praised Hesterman for his leadership and
expressed confidence that Brown, who previously served as USAFCENT
deputy commander from April 2013 to August 2014, was a great pick to
"I am confident that you are more than up to the task," Austin said of Brown.
"(General Hesterman) deserves a lion's share of the credit for the great
success achieved thus far," Austin said about Operation Inherent
Resolve, the campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. "This air campaign
will surely go down in history as one of the most complex and
well-coordinated air campaigns in the history of warfare. The air
campaign would not be what it is today and we would not be where we are
in terms of effects that we have achieved against this enemy were it not
for your incredible leadership, your mastery of the art of air power,
your unparalleled professionalism, and your formidable ability to build,
lead, and strengthen winning teams."
For his part, Hesterman will move on to the Pentagon where he will serve
as the director of the Air Staff and the U.S. Air Force assistant vice
chief of staff.