by Capt. Nicholas Mercurio
14th Air Force Public Affairs
8/17/2015 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- U.S.
Air Force Lt. Gen. David J. Buck assumed command of 14th Air Force (Air
Forces Strategic), Air Force Space Command and Joint Functional
Component Command for Space, U. S. Strategic Command, during a ceremony
at the Joint Space Operations Center, here, Aug. 14.
Buck, who was promoted to lieutenant general during a ceremony prior to
the change of command, previously served as Vice Commander, AFSPC,
Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.
U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney, commander, USSTRATCOM, and U.S. Air Force
Gen. John E. Hyten, commander, AFSPC, presided over the ceremony during
which U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. John W. Raymond relinquished command to
During his remarks, Haney stressed the significant role JFCC Space plays
in USSTRATCOM's strategic deterrence and assurance efforts and welcomed
Buck into his new role.
"Space underpins every part of our global economy and way of life,"
Haney said. "The strategic environment today is more challenging and
volatile than ever before, and I can't think of a better leader than
General Buck to take this incredible team forward to face the challenges
which lie ahead."
Hyten echoed the admiral's trust in Buck, and also discussed importance of the space mission.
"The global space enterprise depends on the availability and
capabilities of DoD space assets," Hyten said. "The area of
responsibility for the people in this room is 73 trillion cubic miles
and you are the best in the world at what you do."
Buck, who previously served at Vandenberg AFB as the 30th Space Wing
Commander from June 2008 to April 2010, expressed his excitement to
return to Vandenberg and to continue the growth of 14th AF and JFCC
"Stella and I are excited to be home. There's no greater honor than to
be entrusted with command," said Buck, "and there is no doubt these are
exciting and dynamic times. In many ways we are at a crossroad. We
have the obligation to transform our culture and drive the operational
imperatives to enable us to effectively operate in this congested,
degraded and operationally limited domain. I'm anxious to roll up my
sleeves and get to work."
Buck started his Air Force career as an Enlisted Airman advancing to
Technical Sergeant before receiving his commission in 1986 as a
distinguished graduate of Officer Training School. His career spans a
wide variety of command, operations, test and evaluation, and staff
assignments. He has commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels
and his operational experience includes missile operations, space launch
and range operations, satellite command and control, space force
enhancement, and space control. In 2010 he deployed to Southwest Asia
as the Director of Space Forces for U.S. Air Forces Central.
As the commander of 14th AF, the Air Force's sole Numbered Air Force for
space, he leads an operational mission that includes space launch from
the east and west coasts, satellite command and control, missile
warning, space situational awareness and command and control of assigned
and attached joint space forces.
As the commander of JFCC Space, which is the space component of
USSTRATCOM, Buck is responsible for executing continuous, integrated
space operations to deliver theater and global effects in support of
national and combatant commander objectives.
Raymond, who leaves Vandenberg to assume his new role as Deputy Chief of
Staff, Operations, Headquarters United States Air Force, praised the
men and women of 14th AF and JFCC Space, saying, "Thank you, I cannot
say it enough for how much your effort has advanced our space
capabilities. It has been my highest professional honor to serve as your
commander. Your mission fuels the American way of life," Raymond
"This job was the one I've always dreamed of," he continued, "and thanks
to you, I am going to a job I never dreamed I could get. Thank you,
God bless you, and God bless the United States."