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New AETC vice commander leads by serving
Tomme Lassabe, 81st Training Support Squadron, shows General Owens examples of models that can be constructed at the trainer development facility as Lt. Col. Janet Haug, 81st TRSS commander, looks on. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)
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New AETC vice commander leads by serving

Posted 9/22/2010   Updated 9/22/2010 Email story   Print story


by Capt Omar Villarreal
AETC Public Affairs

9/22/2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Air Education and Training Command recently welcomed its new vice commander into its fold.

Lt. Gen. Douglas Owens arrived in San Antonio Sept. 8, received his third star the next day and immediately began the task of learning everything he could about AETC's mission and its people.

The general spent Monday and Tuesday at Keesler for training briefings from 2nd Air Force, 81st Training Group and 81st Medical Group before visiting Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., and Maxwell AFB, Ala., late Tuesday and Wednesday.

"It's important for me to get up to speed on what is happening around the command as soon as possible," said General Owens, who previously served as the vice commander of Pacific Air Forces at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. "Because of that I have started engaging with directors and will be on the road visiting AETC wings in the coming weeks."

The general comes from a military family and knew at an early age he wanted to serve his country. His father was an Army noncommissioned officer who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

"My father set a terrific example for myself, my brother and my sister," General Owens said. "He served his country very faithfully."

A 1980 graduate of the Air Force Academy, the general is a command pilot with more than 3,100 hours. He flew combat missions in the first A-10 squadron deployed to Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, has commanded at the squadron, group and wing level, and has served in a variety of operational and staff positions.

"My leadership style is engaging by nature," the general said. "I enjoy talking to people, working challenges with my staff, and I often look for their inputs and counsel to make difficult decisions."

General Owens made it clear that, as a senior leader, he works for those who serve.

"I am a firm believer in servant leadership," he said. "I try to practice that philosophy in every way."

The general said he hopes to use his years of experience in the operational side of the Air Force to ensure Airmen are properly trained and ready to contribute in any contingency around the world.

"I started out in AETC 30 years ago and, since then, I have spent the better part of 25 years in operations," General Owens said. "Based on the foundation I started in 1980, I bring a mindset that works toward ensuring our folks have what they need to succeed in the tasks we give them."

The general talked about the high quality of the Airmen who make up AETC, saying that one thing he wasn't surprised about is how professional everyone is.

"AETC has the best and brightest Airmen working hard by recruiting, training and educating those who will take our Air Force to the next level," he said. "It is truly our people who make this command special."

General Owens believes he is where he is today because of his family.

"Family has always been central to my priorities," he said. "My wife Teresa and I are a team. She has supported me in all facets of my career. We have a son who is a captain at Barksdale AFB (La.) and a son who is a second lieutenant going through pilot training at Vance AFB (Okla.). I do what I do today because of them."

General Owens said the thing he wants all Airmen to know about him is his love of the Air Force and the United States.

"I want Airmen to know that I believe in the Air Force's mission and the greatness of our country," he said. "I believe what we do is honorable and I want Airmen to understand that as the vice commander of AETC, I intend to act on behalf of their interests."

Susan Griggs, Keesler News editor, contributed to this report.

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