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New commander takes the reins of Ninth Air Force

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott Zobrist, new Ninth Air Force commander, addresses a group of Airmen, Soldiers, and community leaders during a change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 17, 2016. Maj. Gen. Mark Kelly relinquished command of the Ninth Air Force to Zobrist. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kelsey Tucker)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott Zobrist, new Ninth Air Force commander, addresses a group of Airmen, Soldiers, and community leaders during a change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 17, 2016. Maj. Gen. Mark Kelly relinquished command of the Ninth Air Force to Zobrist. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kelsey Tucker)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, left, Air Combat Command commander, is saluted by Maj. Gen. Mark Kelly, center, outgoing Ninth Air Force commander, and Maj. Gen. Scott Zobrist, right, incoming Ninth Air Force commander, during the playing of “Ruffles and Flourishes” at a change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 17, 2016. Airmen, Soldiers, and community leaders attended the ceremony to show support for the incoming and outgoing commanders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kelsey Tucker)

U.S. Air Force Gen. Hawk Carlisle, left, Air Combat Command commander, is saluted by Maj. Gen. Mark Kelly, center, outgoing Ninth Air Force commander, and Maj. Gen. Scott Zobrist, right, incoming Ninth Air Force commander, during the playing of “Ruffles and Flourishes” at a change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 17, 2016. Airmen, Soldiers, and community leaders attended the ceremony to show support for the incoming and outgoing commanders. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kelsey Tucker)

U.S. Airmen salute the flag during the playing of the national anthem at a change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 17, 2016. Maj. Gen. Mark Kelly relinquished command of the Ninth Air Force to Maj. Gen. Scott Zobrist in a change of command ceremony officiated by Gen. Hawk Carlisle, Air Combat Command commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kelsey Tucker)

U.S. Airmen salute the flag during the playing of the national anthem at a change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 17, 2016. Maj. Gen. Mark Kelly relinquished command of the Ninth Air Force to Maj. Gen. Scott Zobrist in a change of command ceremony officiated by Gen. Hawk Carlisle, Air Combat Command commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kelsey Tucker)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott Zobrist, new Ninth Air Force commander, addresses a group of Airmen, Soldiers, and community leaders during a change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 17, 2016. Maj. Gen. Mark Kelly relinquished command of the Ninth Air Force to Zobrist. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kelsey Tucker)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott Zobrist, new Ninth Air Force commander, addresses a group of Airmen, Soldiers, and community leaders during a change of command ceremony at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., May 17, 2016. Maj. Gen. Mark Kelly relinquished command of the Ninth Air Force to Zobrist. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kelsey Tucker)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

Maj. Gen. Mark Kelly relinquished command of the Ninth Air Force to Maj. Gen. Scott Zobrist during a change of command ceremony, officiated by Gen. Hawk Carlisle, here May 17.

Ninth Air Force, headquartered at Shaw AFB, is a Numbered Air Force under Air Combat Command composed of eight active-duty wings and three direct reporting units in the Southeastern U.S. with more than 400 aircraft and 29,000 active-duty and civilian personnel.

Zobrist, a distinguished graduate of the University of Southern California’s ROTC program and an F-16CM Fighting Falcon pilot with more than 2,500 flying hours, comes to the Ninth AF and Shaw AFB from Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, where he was the deputy commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command and Combined Force Air Component. In the past, Zobrist also commanded two fighter wings.

“Thank you for your trust and confidence in me, and for giving me this great leadership opportunity,” said Zobrist to Carlisle. “I really appreciate it.”

Zobrist went on to give his thanks, including Carlisle, his wife, and those who were in charge of planning and executing the ceremony.

“I know you are definitely up to the task,” said Carlisle to the incoming commander. “I’ve had the great fortune to know you for a long time. I’ve watched your act, and there is no doubt you’ll step in where (Kelly) left off and continue to take Ninth Air Force to the next level.”

Carlisle also spoke to service members in attendance, thanking them for their service and sacrifices for the nation.

“I truly believe that you are both the next greatest generation, and the greatest of your generation,” said Carlisle. “We are the greatest Air Force in the world because we have men and women like you who are willing to serve and honor this nation.”