New commander to take reins of 12th AF, AFSOUTH

Twelfth Air Force shield

Twelfth Air Force shield

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Twelfth Air Force and Air Forces Southern will welcome a new commander during a change of command ceremony Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

Major Gen. Chris Nowland will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant general and will take the reins of the 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH) from Lt. Gen. Tod Wolters, who will become the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Plans and Requirements, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.

Nowland comes to 12th Air Force from his previous assignment as the Chief of Staff for U.S. Southern Command, where he was responsible for successfully integrating and synchronizing the efforts of nine directorates and 16 special staff offices in support of the combatant commander's Theater Campaign Plan. The general is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is also a graduate of the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies and was a National Security Fellow at the Olin Institute at Harvard University. The general has commanded at the squadron and wing levels, and has more than 3,600 flying hours primarily in the F-15 A/B/C/D, T-37B, T-38A/C and A/T-38B.

In his new position, Nowland will wear two hats, as commander of 12th Air Force, as well as commander of Air Forces Southern. As 12th Air Force commander, he will be responsible for the combat readiness of eight active-duty wings, including the 355th Fighter Wing also located at Davis-Monthan, and one direct reporting unit. 12th Air Force's subordinate commands operate more than 680 aircraft with more than 55,000 uniformed and civilian Airmen. Additionally, as the air and space component to U.S. Southern Command, Air Forces Southern fosters cooperation with partner-nation air forces throughout the 31-counntry area of responsibility comprising Latin America and the Caribbean.