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Two Generals Step Up As New Leaders At Scott Air Force Base

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (L) shakes the hand of Gen. William Fraser (C) after Fraser assumed command of United States Transportation Command at Scott Air Force Base on Friday. Retiring Gen. Duncan McNabb is behind Fraser.

Two Change of Command ceremonies commemorated new leadership at Scott Air Force Base on Monday.

Gen. Paul Selva now leads U.S. Transportation Command at Scott after Gen. William Fraser’s retirement. Gen. Darren McDew replaces Selva as head of Air Mobility Command.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, attended the afternoon ceremony, in which Selva replaced Fraser, who is retiring after 40 years of service. Hagel commended Fraser’s efforts to improve TRANSCOM’s agility and mobility.

“We’re living in an age where people expect immediate gratification, and that’s not easy,” he said. “But even though you don’t always get the recognition you deserve, every field commander, every troop knows that when it absolutely, positively had to be there — or not — they always can depend on TRANSCOM to deliver.”

Selva's post with U.S. Transportation Command oversees more than 133,000 personnel in deploying ocean vessels, airplanes, trains and trucks in support of U.S. military operations globally.

McDew’s Change of Command ceremony took place Monday morning. He stressed his solidarity with fellow Airmen in soldiering a 13-year war, looming Defense budget cuts and the pervasiveness of sexual assault in the military. 

"This is a pivotal time for our nation and our Air Force, and the challenges we'll face will certainly be daunting,” McDew said. “But they will not define us, because your true character always pierces through in moments of crisis. And I promise you, you will not be alone to face adversity. We will face it together."

Last week, Defense Secretary Hagel announced six new directives to decrease the rates of sexual assault within the military by strengthening the military’s response to such assaults and preventing them from occurring in the future.

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