KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Maj. Gen. Bob LaBrutta took command of 2nd Air Force during a change of command ceremony at the Levitow Training Support Facility parade field here, Aug. 26, 2016.
Outgoing commander, Maj. Gen. Mark Brown, handed off the guidon before heading to his new assignment as Air Education and Training Command vice commander.
The ceremony was officiated by Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, AETC commander.
“To the men and women of 2nd Air Force, thank you for your superb leadership and dedication,” Roberson said. “It’s always a pleasure to be among professionals who are so important to our Air Force and our nation.”
Following Roberson’s remarks, Brown took to the podium to reaffirm his confidence in Keesler and 2nd Air Force’s Airmen.
“I believe in you,” Brown said. “I said it when I first accepted the 2nd Air Force flag two years ago, and I say it with even more emphasis today – I believe in you. I believe in the leaders chosen to lead you, the commitment you’ve made, your personal sacrifices thus far and those that inevitably will come for Airmen who are committed to serving something greater than themselves. It’s Airmen that have made this command tour truly the honor of my life.”
As the new 2nd Air Force commander, LaBrutta is responsible for the development, oversight and direction of all operational aspects of basic military training, initial skills training and advanced technical training of all Air Force enlisted members and support officers. 2nd Air Force provides training in more than 265 Air Force specialties for 150,000 Defense Department and international student graduates annually.
After taking command, LaBrutta reflected on his first time visiting Keesler for training as an enlisted Airman and shared his enthusiasm for the opportunity to command.
“In October 1981, I arrived here at Keesler after completing basic military training,” LaBrutta said. “On arrival, I tacked on my first two stripes and actually started my Air Force career by completing technical school and becoming an administrative specialist. Now, standing before you, some 35 years later . . . Well, it’s a bit surreal. Selection for command is the assignment all officers covet, and having the opportunity to serve here at Keesler as a member of the Air Force’s Innovative Training Center of Excellence – it just doesn’t get any better than this!”
LaBrutta also emphasized his eagerness to train, develop and inspire Airmen.
“We’ll be rolling up our sleeves, working together and leveraging the incredible capacity of our community partners,” he said. “Together we’ll continue to provide unrivaled training and development through inspirational leadership to the trainees, Airmen, joint and coalition partners who power the world’s greatest Air Force!”
He also shared his vision for the 2nd Air Force enterprise.
Together we will “Propel our organizations and our people to the next level of excellence and establish 2nd Air Force as the premier training and development center; not only in the Department of the Air Force, but in the DOD,” he said. “We’ll also ensure everyone knows that 2nd Air Force is second to none, because air power starts here!”