7th AF commander bids farewell to Osan, AF

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- After three years of service, people across the Republic of Korea are preparing to bid farewell to the 29th commander of 7th Air Force. 

Lt. Gen. Garry R. Trexler is set to enter retirement after serving 36 years in the military after he leaves Korea. 

During the past three years, the general said he has seen many changes. 

"One of the highlights has been seeing improvements in where our Airmen work and where they live," Lt. Gen. Trexler said. "I see a lot of people smiling because their living conditions and working conditions are better." 

Lt. Gen. Trexler said he has also seen constant improvements in the air operations center and the abilities of that important command and control facility. He has also seen an improvement in weapons systems on the peninsula, which contribute to the deterrence of North Korea. 

The general has also seen improvements between the U.S.-ROK alliance while he has been commander. 

"I have seen our joint warfighting capabilities improve significantly," Lt. Gen. Trexler said. "Led by the Combined Forces Command commander, we have had a lot of engagements with ROK and U.S. commanders over the past two and half years, and it has helped us gain a better understanding of how we fight together." 

Through meetings and various programs, he said we have continued to make improvements in our interoperability between the two militaries. 

With all the improvements Lt. Gen. Trexler has witnessed, he said he still sees challenges for 7th Air Force. 

"We can never rest on our laurels," he said. "We've started down a path of improvement, but if we don't continue to get the resources on the peninsula, it will be very easy to backslide." 

He said in order for the Air Force to continue to be effective, the peninsula must continue to improve Airmen's quality of life, facilities and command and control capabilities. 

Once he retires, Lt. Gen. Trexler said he plans to relax, but more importantly, reconnect with his family. 

"Being in the military can be very demanding on a family," he said. "I don't think any of us can be truly successful without the support of our loved ones. I am looking forward to reacquainting myself with family, including my parents who I haven't been able to spend much time with in 36 years." 

Even though the general is getting ready to retire, he will remain active in the military. 

"I will always be an Airman with a big 'A' and I will use every opportunity to talk about our great Air force and great military," he said.
"It's been a real thrill to serve our nation in the U.S. military. As I said before, I am an Airman with a big A and will be until the day I die." 

Lt. Gen. Trexler will relinquish command of 7th Air Force to Lt. Gen. Stephen Wood during a change-of-command ceremony Monday at 10 a.m. at the Black Cat Lounge.