OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea --
Leadership at Seventh Air Force changed hands during a change of command ceremony here July 8, 2016.
Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Bergeson assumed command from Lt. Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy in the ceremony presided by U.S. Forces Korea Commander Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks.
"The Air Force general selected for this role carries a tremendous load for our alliance, and that is why this ceremony is special,” said Brooks.
Bergeson not only assumed command of Seventh Air Force, but also the roles of deputy commander, United Nations Command Korea; deputy commander, U.S. Forces Korea; and commander, Air Component Command, Republic of Korea/U.S. Combined Forces Command.
“These positions, with very different but complementary responsibilities, are held by only one leader who must be agile, yet assertive; diplomatic, yet driven; nuanced, yet clear in direction and purpose, in accomplishing the responsibilities placed upon him or her,” Brooks continued. “We had that, up to today, and I am confident that we have that again, starting today.”
Bergeson, who previously served as the Director, Legislative Liaison, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., shared his enthusiasm in accepting his new roles.
"I’m excited for this opportunity to serve with you,” said Bergeson. “Northeast Asia plays an increasingly important role in global affairs, and the Republic of Korea is a key contributor to regional prosperity and international good will. Together, we will continue to refocus our training and exercises in order to maximize our combat capability and enhance our readiness to ‘fight tonight.’ I am grateful for the sacrifices you make to serve our nation and strengthen the ROK-US Alliance, and will work diligently to continue caring for you and your families."
O'Shaughnessy, who moves on to become the Pacific Air Forces commander, welcomed his successor and expressed his confidence in the men and women of 7th AF.
“Lt. Gen. Bergeson, welcome to Korea and congratulations…on taking command of Seventh Air Force. You are arriving at an incredible time, to lead an amazingly strong team,” said O’Shaughnessy. “In the past 12 months, we’ve witnessed the highest number of provocations in recent memory, but this team has remained incredibly vigilant – from the air and space operations center floor, to the flight lines, and over the skies of South Korea. As they’ve done for over 65 years, they continue to stand side by side with their Korean brethren, and the Airmen of this organization are ready at a moment’s notice to move from 0 to 500 knots and ‘fight tonight.’”
Bergeson welcomed the opportunity and looks forward to the future.
“I am honored to serve as your commander, and proud to be a member of the Korea airpower team,” he said. “I have the utmost confidence that each and every one of you is ready, together, to deter aggression, defend the Republic of Korea, and defeat any attack on the alliance.”