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New leaders take helm as Air University reorganizes

by Scott Knuteson
Air University Public Affairs

6/23/2008 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFPN) -- Air University officials welcomed their new commander as well as one of the organization's newly minted centers of excellence also installed its new leader in a dual change-of-command ceremony June 23 at Maxwell Air Force Base's Air Park.

The ceremony, which involved three successively-higher positions, was led by Gen. William R. Looney III, who will soon retire from his current assignment as commander of Air Education and Training Command at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

He presided as Lt. Gen. Stephen R. Lorenz vacated his position as Air University commander and Lt. Gen. Allen G. Peck filled the slot. General Peck's former job, at the helm of the LeMay Center and vice commander of Air University, was acquired by Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Miller, who was previously the Spaatz Center commander.

General Lorenz will pin on a fourth star and follow in General Looney's footsteps when he takes the reigns of AETC next month.

"The changes that have occurred here will pay great dividends in the future of our Air Force," General Looney said. "We are creating the 21st century of the Air Force."

The continuity provided as the generals shift upward is rarely seen in the Air Force, General Peck said. But in this instance, the generals are already well-acquainted with their new positions.

"Sometimes transformation efforts fail when people rotate out," General Peck said following the ceremony. "In this case, we've got great continuity ... as we continue to transform Air University. I certainly can't claim the Air Force hasn't prepared me for this job."

AETC is the major command for Air University, and Air University is the head of and geographic home to both the LeMay and Spaatz centers, the latter of which will soon be headed by Maj. Gen. Maurice Forsyth.

LeMay and Spaatz are familiar names to the airpower community; however, they've only recently been applied to organizations newly formed under a major restructuring effort at Air University.

Efforts to streamline the education of Airmen and development of Air Force doctrine have been ongoing.

The new AU Centers of Excellence that have been created are the Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education, the Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education, the Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accession and Citizen Development, and the Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education. The final step of the AU reorganization process culminates with the renaming of the College for Enlisted Professional Military Education Headquarters to the Headquarters, Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education slated in mid-July.

"All of us have recognized that whatever degree of autonomy we've given up under the re-engineering initiative has been returned to us several-fold in improved communication and cooperation among schools and faculty, curriculum and many other important education issues," General Miller said.

Besides continuing the shift to a new structure at Air University, General Peck also expects to tackle other challenges in his new role as the organization's head, specifically in the areas of education and technology.

"I think there are a variety of things we can do to improve the quality of our education, to include distance learning initiatives. We need to make more use of virtual education," he said. "We have some challenges in the area of cyber warfare."

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