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RAF MILDENHALL, England — Maj. Gen. Michael Gould is the new commander of the 3rd Air Force.

Gould, who previously served as director of operational plans and joint matters and deputy chief of staff for Air and Space Operations in Washington, D.C., replaces Maj. Gen. Michael Wooley.

Wooley, who soon will get his third star, already has taken over command of Air Force Special Operations Command at Hulburt Field, Fla.

The 3rd Air Force post is the first overseas assignment for Gould, who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1976. He’s a command pilot with about 2,900 hours on various military training, refueling and cargo aircraft. Among his assignments: commander of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., and 97th Air Mobility Wing at Altus Air Force Base, Okla.

He’s also served as Air Force aide to the president, from 1990-1992, and a coach at the academy in his 28-year career.

His new command is responsible for all U.S. Air Force operations in Europe north of the Alps and in Africa south of the Sahara.

The majority of airmen under the command are stationed in the United Kingdom and Germany.

The 3rd Air Force also handles all support agreements between U.S. forces and the United Kingdom.

The only other numbered Air Force in Europe, the 16th, is based in Aviano and is responsible for air operations south of the Alps.

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