by Lan Kim
90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
11/17/2015 - F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. -- Maj. Gen. Anthony J. Cotton took command of 20th Air Force and Task Force 214 during a ceremony here, Nov. 16, 2015.
Continuing the legacy and leadership put forth by his predecessor,
Cotton will lead the men and women of the 20th AF and U.S. Strategic
Command's TF 214. Twentieth Air Force is responsible for maintaining and
operating the Air Force's three intercontinental ballistic missile
wings and nuclear operations support wing at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.
As a task force, these units provide the President of the United States
with a quick-reacting and highly reliable strategic missile force. These
forces are dispersed in hardened silos across the nation's central tier
and are based at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming; Malmstrom AFB, Montana; and
Minot AFB, North Dakota.
Prior to his current assignment, Cotton served as the National
Reconnaissance Office deputy director. He began his military career as a
missileer at Minot AFB's 91st Missile Wing, and later went on to serve
in joint assignments and leadership positions within space
operations. He also served as vice commander and commander of the 341st
Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB.
A formation of more than 150 Airmen witnessed the symbolic gesture of
passing the command flag that recognizes the age-old military tradition
signifying the continuity of command and authority to all those present
-- the flag further represents the loyalty and trust of the Airmen in
"I am truly humbled by the opportunity to lead the Airmen charged with
providing one-third of our nation's nuclear deterrent capability to U.S.
Strategic Command," Cotton said.
Gen. Robin Rand, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command and
presiding officer of the 20th Air Force change of command, praised the
Airmen who comprise America's ICBM force.
"Twentieth Air Force has an amazing legacy and has enjoyed the
leadership of renowned historical figures, now joined by Maj. Gen.
Anthony Cotton," Rand said. "As part of the Global Strike family,
General Cotton is taking the lead of an amazing group of Airmen charged
with the tremendous responsibility of maintaining a vital leg of our
nation's nuclear triad. These Airmen are innovative; they are
hard-charging; and they are devoted to bringing our nuclear deterrence
capabilities into the future as an unmatched, long-range strategic
force. I know he will continue to uphold this amazing legacy and lead
the Airmen of the 20th into an even greater future."
U.S. Navy Adm. Cecil Haney, U.S. Strategic Command commander and
presiding officer for the TF 214 change of command, focused on the
capability Cotton will provide to USSTRATCOM and the nation.
"Our nation is blessed to have Anthony Cotton take the helm of 20th Air
Force and Task Force 214. He comes with an impressive resume, packed
with extensive leadership and operational experience. Tony is known for
being clear in expectations, fair in decisions and always giving
accurate and calm feedback," Haney said.
"There should be no doubt as to the credibility and reliability of our
nuclear triad, with our ICBMs being the most responsive leg," said
Haney. "I am pleased to have Lt. Gen. Cotton leading the world's best
ICBM force and I am positive that you will continue the momentum Jack
Weinstein has set in motion."
Cotton thanked Haney and Rand with entrusting him with the confidence
and leadership to take command of TF-214 and 20th AF. As he viewed the
formation he spoke to how proud and humbled he was to be part of the
"Global strike and deterrence represents the core of America's defense
posture since the end of World War II," said Cotton. "Our
responsibilities to that continuing mission represent the greatest trust
our nation can place in any of its citizens. I am humbled for the
opportunity to help support that mission."
Cotton reiterated his priorities and galvanized his newly appointed
command to stay true to the dedication necessary to keep a safe, secure,
and effective nuclear force.
"I am very proud of my ICBM heritage and look forward to working with
our Nation's finest" stated Cotton. "I'm glad to be home! Marsha and I
also look forward to working with the incredible communities in
Cheyenne, Albuquerque, Minot and Great Falls."
Weinstein took time to thank the Airmen of 20th AF and TF 214 for the
commitment to excellence he had seen from them during his tenure, "The
positive changes across the ICBM force over the past two years are
proof-positive of our Airmen's dedication to the mission and their
steadfast commitment to improve our combat capability."
Weinstein will be promoted to lieutenant general and serve as the Air
Force's Assistant Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear