3rd AF welcomes new commander

by Senior Master Sgt. Hollis Dawson
3rd Air Force

Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc assumed command of 3rd Air Force in a ceremony at Ramstein Monday. Third AF is U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s component numbered air force charged to support U.S. European Command.

General Gorenc last served as director of air and space operations headquarters Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

“To the men and women of 3rd Air Force, I stand before you humbled by this opportunity and the sheer magnitude of the responsibility,” the general said. “To command is a great honor and a privilege, but to command 3rd Air Force is absolutely a dream come true.”

General Gorenc, who brings 30 years of experience to the U.S. Air Force, reminded the men and women of 3rd Air Force of their overall mission and stressed the importance of the command’s regional allies.

“Precise combat power from air, space and cyberspace integrated into an effective coalition campaign with our joint brothers and allies will be key,” General Gorenc said. “That is exactly what 3rd Air Force is all about … effective combat air power.”

General Gorenc will now direct the full spectrum of air, space and cyberspace operations – from planning to execution and assessment – of all USAFE forces engaged in contingency and wartime operations in the USEUCOM area of responsibility. The area includes more than 51 countries and territories.

USAFE Commander Gen. Roger A. Brady officiated at the ceremony. Others in attendance included host nation mayors, federal and state parliament representatives, NATO members, wing commanders, directors and command chiefs.

General Gorenc, who was officially promoted to lieutenant general Aug. 24, entered the Air Force in 1979 as a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy.

He has been assigned to numerous operational, command and staff positions and has completed four overseas tours. He has commanded a fighter squadron, an operations group, a fighter wing and an air expeditionary wing.

Additionally, he has served as special assistant to U.S. European Command, supreme allied commander Europe; director of operational plans and joint matters, deputy chief of staff for Air Space and information operations, headquarters U. S. Air Force; and as the commander of the Air Force district of Washington, Andrews AFB, Md.

General Gorenc is also a command pilot with more than 4,100 flying hours.

Along with its headquarters staff, 3rd AF is comprised of 10 wings, three groups and the 603rd Air and Space Operations Center, consisting of more than 27,000


It also has a unique mission as the U.S. military’s primary liaison to the British government, a role carried out through the command’s 3rd AF-United Kingdom headquarters at Royal Air Force Mildenhall.