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31st Fighter Wing's designated new commander to retire; replacement named

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — The 31st Fighter Wing will have a new commander by the end of the month, but it won’t be the one the Pentagon announced in February.

A Department of Defense release last week said that Brig. Gen. Jon A. Norman, currently director of U.S. Air Forces in Europe-United Kingdom, will take over from Brig. Gen. Scott J. Zobrist. The change-of-command ceremony is scheduled for May 30.

Col. Scott C. Long was supposed to take the job and be promoted to brigadier general, according to the earlier announcement. But Long, commander of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, has decided to retire instead.

Andrea Mason, public affairs officer for the 388th, said Long would retire after relinquishing command of the wing at Hill to Col. Lance Landrum on June 14.

She cited “personal reasons” and would not elaborate.

Zobrist has been nominated for his second star and his next assignment is director of requirements for the Air Combat Command at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.

Norman, a 1986 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, has served multiple tours overseas, including commander of the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan Air Base in South Korea in 2007-2008. He served as executive officer to the Air Force chief of staff after that assignment.

He is rated as a command pilot with more than 3,000 hours flown in the F-16, AT-38, T-38 and T-37.

harris.kent@stripes.com

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