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Maj. Gen. Morrow takes helm at 1AF

Maj Gen Hank Morrow addresses the troops during his assumption of command ceremony here Wednesday.  General Morrow responsibilities include command of First Air Force, Air Forces Northern and the Continental US NORAD Region.

Maj Gen Hank Morrow addresses the troops during his assumption of command ceremony here Wednesday. General Morrow responsibilities include command of First Air Force, Air Forces Northern and the Continental US NORAD Region.

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Maj. Gen. Henry "Hank" Morrow took command of First Air Force, Air Forces Northern, and the Continental United States NORAD Region at a change of command ceremony here today.

General Morrow is the former mobilization assistant to the commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command, and comes to Tyndall Air Force Base with more than 28 years service in the U.S. Air Force. He has served tours in the United Kingdom, Germany and Qatar, where he directed the Combined Air Operations Center for U.S. Central Command Air Forces. He is a combat veteran and command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours in trainer and fighter aircraft.

"I'm very fortunate to serve with some of the finest professionals in the nation while living and working in this great community," General Morrow said. "I know of no other military community that enjoys the level of support from its host community as here in Bay County and surrounding areas."

"I have no doubt that, together with General Tod Wolter (325th Fighter Wing commander), the relationship between our communities will grow even stronger," he said.

As commander of First Air Force (AFNORTH) and the Continental U.S. NORAD Region, General Morrow assumes responsibility for the air sovereignty and air defense of the continental United States, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. He directs and coordinates the efforts of the Combined Air Operations Center here and its geographically separated defense sectors and fighter wings. First Air Force plans, conducts, controls, and coordinates all Air Force forces for the NORAD-NORTHCOM commander.

General Morrow replaced Maj. Gen M. Scott Mayes, who retired today after more than 36 years in uniform. He received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force's fourth highest decoration, for his service as First Air Force and CONR commander since October 2004.

During the ceremony General Mayes expressed his gratitude for serving and lauded the First Air Force team.

"This is the hardest working bunch I've ever been around, and their pride stands out like a beacon. They are dedicated, and will not quit, ever," General Mayes said. "They are winners, and that's a great thing for America. For whatever positive effect I may have had while my hand has been on the tiller here, I am truly grateful for this team of warriors."

Admiral Timothy Keating, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command commander, and General Ronald Keys, Air Combat Command commander, officiated at the ceremony. Lieutenant General Craig McKinley, Air National Guard director and former First Air Force commander, was also in attendance.