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Gen. Robert H. ‘Doc’ Foglesong, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe since August 2003, will reportedly retire in 2006.
Gen. Robert H. ‘Doc’ Foglesong, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe since August 2003, will reportedly retire in 2006. (U.S. Air Force)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Gen. Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong — the Air Force’s top commander in Europe — plans to retire next year and start a nonprofit foundation in his home state of West Virginia, according to news reports.

The general said he wants to launch the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation to help the state’s high school seniors attend college, according to an article that appeared Friday in the Charleston, W.Va., Daily Mail.

WCHS-TV 8, an ABC affiliate in West Virginia, reported last week that Foglesong will retire next summer.

Speculation as to when Foglesong would leave his post has been circulating in and around Ramstein Air Base, home to U.S. Air Forces in Europe headquarters.

Capt. Jonathan Friedman, a USAFE spokesman, said Wednesday that the Air Force has not made an official announcement about Foglesong’s future and who might replace him.

Foglesong, who has 33 years’ service in the Air Force, has been commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe since August 2003. He also serves as commander of NATO’s Allied Air Component Command at Ramstein Air Base, is the air component commander of U.S. European Command, and is director for the Multinational Joint Air Power Competence Center in Kalkar, Germany.

The former vice chief of staff of the Air Force is a pilot with more than 4,350 flight hours in numerous military aircraft.

While he is known around Air Force bases for kick starting many special-interest programs, he is probably best known by servicemembers stationed throughout Europe for his numerous American Forces Network commercials.

Foglesong, who has a doctorate in chemical engineering from West Virginia University, was in Charleston last week to give a speech before the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Daily Mail reported.

He told the newspaper that the foundation would provide leadership training and money for college-bound high school seniors.

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