Photo credit © US Navy
Gen. Lori Robinson took command of Pacific Air Forces from Gen. Hawk Carlisle Oct. 16 during a change of command ceremony here.
Presiding over the ceremony, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III praised Carlisle’s past accomplishments and expressed confidence in Robinson as the new commander of PACAF. “Gen. Lori Robinson is a phenomenal leader and a proven operator,” Welsh said. “She fully understands what it takes to be successful in this business and has all the tools to take this command to even higher levels of performance.”
During his command, Carlisle executed PACAF’s primary mission to provide U.S. Pacific Command integrated expeditionary Air Force capabilities to defend the homeland, promote stability in the region, dissuade and deter aggression and swiftly defeat enemies.
In his parting remarks, Carlisle credited his command’s success to the efforts of countless Airmen in PACAF. “Our mission happens and we are successful because of our Airmen,” Carlisle said. “The security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific rests squarely on their shoulders. And I can’t think of better shoulders for them to rest on.”
Carlisle was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his accomplishments as commander and then received his final salute from the men and women of PACAF as he relinquished command. As he concluded his speech, Carlisle offered one final encouragement to PACAF Airmen.
“Folks, every Airman matters … from our most senior leaders to our civilian Airmen, to our most junior enlisted,” he said. “What you do changes lives. What you do makes the world a better, safer place for our children, and for our children’s children. You are the best our nation has and I know you are up to the challenge.”
Upon leaving PACAF, Carlisle will assume command of Air Combat Command. Robinson is now the first woman to lead a U.S. Air Force component major command. She joins PACAF from her prior position as the vice commander of ACC at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. During her time there, Robinson oversaw approximately 83,000 active-duty and civilian personnel operating, maintaining and supporting approximately 1,300 aircraft at more than 50 locations worldwide.
Upon receiving the PACAF flag from Welsh, Robinson received her first salute as the new PACAF commander and expressed her thanks to the assembled crowd.
“Thank you for your trust and confidence in selecting me to lead this critical command at a time when regional and global events pose increasingly serious challenges to the international community and to our own national security,” Robinson said. Robinson now leads Airmen throughout an area of responsibility that covers more than 100 million square miles that extends from the west coast of the United States to the east coast of Africa and from the Arctic to the Antarctic.
During the ceremony, Robinson addressed U.S. Pacific Command commander, Adm. Samuel Locklear, expressing her dedication to bring airpower to command’s joint mission. “As you well know, airpower brings a unique, asymmetric advantage, with speed, range and flexibility to this immense area of responsibility,” she said. “I pledge to be a full-up partner and component commander, providing my best military advice on how airpower and other PACAF capabilities can best serve your priorities.”
Lastly, Robinson affirmed her commitment to support PACAF Airmen as they continue to execute the command’s mission. “You are our front-line warriors and diplomats. You and your families are the heart and soul of the command. And you are the reason why the Air Force is indisputably the best Air Force in the world,” Robinson stated. “I pledge to listen to you, and to faithfully represent you.”