Friday, November 13, 2009

Oregon general comes full circle as he takes command of 1st Air Force

Above: Gen. Craig McKinley, Director of the National Guard (left), congratulates Maj. Gen. Garry C. Dean, prior to his change of command ceremony at Tyndall AFB, Fla., Nov. 12. Dean, an Oregon Air Guard member, assumed command of 1st Air Force during a ceremony attended by some 500 airmen, friends and family. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs Office).


TYNDALL AFB, Fla.,—An Oregon Air National Guard general assumed command of Headquarters, 1st Air Force, Air Forces Northern, during a morning ceremony at Tyndall, AFB, Fla., Nov. 12.


Maj. Gen. Garry C. Dean of the Oregon Air National Guard, assumed command from Maj. Gen. Henry C. Morrow.


Gen. Victor E. Renuart, Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, presents the 1st Air Force guideon to Maj. Gen. Garry C. Dean, during a change of command ceremony at Tyndall AFB, Fla., Nov. 12. Dean, a member of the Oregon Air National Guard, takes over as commander of 1st Air Force and Continental U.S. NORAD.


The ceremony was attended by Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon National Guard, who led a group of about 20 Oregonians to Tyndall AFB, near Panama City, Fla.


While Dean remains attached to the Oregon Air National Guard, his new assignment as commander of 1st Air Force, AFNORTH leverages command positions he has held within the Oregon National Guard and his ties in the state, Rees said.


“This is a wonderful day for Oregon, and a great day for the U.S. Air Force and our nation,” Rees said.


About 500 well-wishers, friends, coworkers and family members filled Hangar #2 at the base. Some of those in the audience included; Gen. Craig R. McKinley, Director of the National Guard; Maj. Gen. Ernesto Rivera, Chief of Staff for the Mexican Air Force, and Brig. Gen. Andre Viens, Deputy Commander, Continental U.S. NORAD.


Gen. Victor E. Reunart, Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command/U.S. Northern Command, praised outgoing commander, Maj. Gen. Morrow, for his steadfast leadership and innovative approach to several challenges such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and numerous domestic contingency missions.


“You should be proud of the way you’ve integrated your mission every day,” he said to Morrow. “You are ‘Mr. Total-Force’.”


Renuart then welcomed Dean back to Tyndall AFB.


“We are extremely pleased to have him here with us,” Renuart said of Dean.


Reunuart said Dean is a strong and successful leader, and a great follow-on to Morrow. “(Dean) truly understands the business of sovereign safety,” Renuart said.


During Morrow’s speech, the outgoing commander highlighted the many accomplishments under his command. He thanked the airmen before him for meeting the many challenges over the course of his tenure.


“We have kept our nation’s skies and shores safe from attack,” he said. “Command is always a privilege and an honor,” Morrow added.


Dean then thanked Morrow for his hard work and dedicated leadership. He also expressed his gratitude to the many airmen in attendance. He joked that he had nothing to do with tropical storm Ida, which hit the region only two days prior.


He also thanked Rees for his mentorship and guidance.


“Command is a team sport,” Dean said, as he smiled at Rees.


Dean said his new assignment is a homecoming of sorts. In 2006, he served as the Air National Guard Advisor to the commander of AFNORTH/NORTHCOM.


“I started off as a member of the 1st Air Force team, and now I have the privilege to lead that team,” Dean said.


“I will do my utmost to lead this command to new levels of success,” he added.


Dean recently completed an assignment as the Deputy Inspector General of the Air Force, in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he served as the former wing commander of the 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard, and at the Oregon National Guard’s Joint-Force Headquarters, as the State Director of Operations and Assistant Adjutant General for Air.


Maj. Gen. Garry C. Dean, commander of 1st Air Force, meets with members of the Oregon National Guard contingent. From left to right: Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, The Adjutant General, Oregon National Guard; Gen. Craig R. McKinley, Director of the National Guard; Maj. Gen. Garry C. Dean; Mr. Harvey Fink, local Oregon business and civic leader; Mr. Larry Diebert, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army.


Story and photos by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager

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