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Lt. Gen. Kwast assumes command of Air University

  • Published
  • By Lisa Warr
  • 42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast assumed command of Air University from Lt. Gen. David S. Fadok in a change-of-command ceremony Nov. 10 at Maxwell Air Park here.

Gen. Robin Rand, commander of Air Education and Training Command, presided over the ceremony. Rand described AU as not only the "intellectual leadership center of the Air Force," but as the "core of the intellectual leadership center of the world's best Air Force."

Upon assuming command of AU, Kwast became its second president and is responsible for graduating more than 50,000 resident and 120,000 non-resident officer, enlisted and civilian students each year. Additionally, he is responsible for officer accessions through Air Force Officer Training School and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps.

"(Kwast) has the strategic and academic credentials to possess the title of president of AU," said Rand. "I have personally witnessed (him) in action, and I am excited about the vision and leadership (he will) provide to AU."

Kwast has served as deputy director for Politico-Military Affairs for Europe, NATO and Russia, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.; director of Requirements, Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; director, Air Force Quadrennial Defense Review, Office of the Air Force Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.; and more recently, commander of the Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education here.

"It is with a humbled heart filled with gratitude that I look forward to serving all of you in this next job," said Kwast.

Kwast described AU as the birthplace of airpower theory and strategy, nuclear deterrence, doctrine and "thinking."

"We have a world in need of a generation of thinkers who can help us solve things in ways that the solutions in the past will not address," he said. "It is time, again, for the present generation of thinkers to innovate our way out of the problems of today and build this nation to a national power that helps us with ideological threats where information is used as a weapon."

Rand described Fadok as a "brilliant senior leader" who has increased AU in its standing as an academic institution, transformed the LeMay Center's wargaming distributed capability, and endorsed legislation that allows separated and retired wounded warriors to remain in Community College of the Air Force student status.

"During Fadok's tenure at AU, he has been extremely active in honoring its heritage and producing our finest senior Air Force leaders, Navy leaders, Marine leaders, Army leaders, civilian leaders and international partner leaders," said Rand.

Fadok attributed the mission of AU and the people who execute that mission as being the two reasons why his job as commander and president of Air University has been the most professionally rewarding job he had in his 32.5 year career in the U.S. Air Force.

"I can't tell you of a better way to wrap up a career as an Airman than to be in a position where you can shape the future of our service that's coming in behind us," said Fadok. "Always remember what you do matters greatly to not just the U.S. Air Force but to this great nation we live in."