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News | April 3, 2023

CONR-1AF (AFNORTH & AFSPACE) welcomes Lt. Gen. Nordhaus


CONR-1AF (AFNORTH & AFSPACE) welcomes Lt. Gen. Nordhaus

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla.— Leadership of the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region – First Air Force (Air Forces Northern and Air Forces Space) changed hands during a change of command ceremony held here Friday.

An age tradition of passing the flags, or colors, symbolized the change in leadership as Lt. Gen. Steven S. Nordhaus assumed command of CONR-1AF (AFNORTH & AFSPACE) from Lt. Gen. Kirk S. Pierce. The NORAD and U.S. Northern Command commander, Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, U.S. Space Command commander, Gen. James H. Dickinson, and Air Combat Command commander, Gen. Mark D. Kelly presided over the ceremony.

"I stand before you today with my wife Shannon, humbled and honored to assume command of this incredible organization and join this gifted team. I am honored for the opportunity and trust placed in me to lead this great organization," said Nordhaus.

As the Combined Force Air Component Commander for NORAD and the Joint Force AirComponent Commander for U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Space Command, Nordhaus will oversee several distinct missions: air defense and air sovereignty operations in the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands; supporting the deployment, sustainment, and redeployment of U.S. Air Forces in support of U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Space Command; providing Defense Support to Civil Authorities; executing theater security cooperation with partner nations; and planning and executing contingency support operations for National Aeronautics and Space Administration's human space flight programs.

"There is demanding work to be done defending Homeland, controlling the air domain, and enabling a resilient nation and enabling space domain. There is no greater responsibility than providing for the defense of our nation; and I look forward to serving with this team in the execution of that sacred mission," said Nordhaus.

With the transfer of responsibility for continental air defense from the active component of the Air Force to the Air National Guard in 1995, First Air Force became the first numbered air force to be made up primarily of citizen Airmen.

Before serving as the CONR-1AF (AFNORTH & AFSPACE) commander, Lt. Gen Nordhaus was the Special Assistant to the Director Air National Guard., Arlington, Va.

After relinquishing command of 1st Air Force, Pierce will retire after nearly 35 years of dedicated service to the Air National Guard and United States Air Force.

"My wife and I love being here, and I am proud to serve with you all including my Canadian brethren.  I know that I leave this command in capable hands, and you [Nordhaus] are going to make a difference every day,” said Pierce.

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