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RAF MILDENHALL, England — U.S. Air Forces in the United Kingdom soon will have a new liaison to the British government.

The Department of Defense announced Thursday that Brig. Gen. Christopher J. Bence will become director, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-United Kingdom at RAF Mildenhall. His new position is largely diplomatic and is responsible for maintaining a dialogue with the British government on issues relating to visiting U.S. forces. Officials could not immediately say when Bence would assume his new post.

Bence will be replacing Brig. Gen. Jon A. Norman, who assumed command of the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy, on Thursday.

Bence’s last assignment — as deputy director for operations, National Joint Operations and Intelligence Center, Operations Team Two, J-3, Joint Staff, Pentagon — involved crisis response and monitoring events world-wide. He is a 1986 graduate of Washington State University and is rated as a command pilot with more than 4,500 flying hours in KC-135s, C-5s and the T-37.

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