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New 7th Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Remington, left, shakes hands with outgoing commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Wood during a change of command ceremony Monday at Osan Air Base.
New 7th Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Remington, left, shakes hands with outgoing commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Wood during a change of command ceremony Monday at Osan Air Base. (Photo by Ashley Rowland/S&S)

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — The U.S. Air Force has a new top officer in South Korea.

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Remington succeeded 7th Air Force commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Wood during a Monday change-of-command ceremony at Osan Air Base.

The head of the 7th Air Force is responsible for Osan’s 51st Fighter Squadron and Kunsan Air Base’s 8th Fighter Wing.

"Today you were saying goodbye to a fighter pilot’s fighter pilot," Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Howie Chandler said of Wood, a decorated pilot who flew 49 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm.

Wood is to retire on Jan. 1 after a 34-year career. Remington was PACAF’s director of Operations, Plans, Requirements and Programs before taking command of 7th Air Force.

"Many of you may not know it, but Steve actually wears more hats than I do," said U.S. Forces Korea commander Gen. Walter Sharp. The 7th Air Force commander is also the deputy commander of the United Nations Command; deputy commander of U.S. Forces Korea; and commander, Air Component Command, Republic of Korea and U.S. Combined Forces Command.

Sharp praised Wood for playing a crucial role in making plans to transfer operational wartime control from the United States to South Korea in 2012, and return 23 U.S. military bases to South Korea. Wood also helped make improvements in infrastructure, equipment and training for airmen in South Korea, he said.

Sharp said Remington’s background in Asian affairs makes him a good fit for his new job.

"I know I am getting an absolutely first rate commander of [Air Component Command]," he said.

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