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Lt. Gen. Maurice “Lee” McFann Jr. was set to put on his third star Wednesday and will soon have a new command. He’ll also be breaking a bit of tradition Friday when he takes over Allied Air Component Command Izmir in Turkey.

McFann, who has served recently as the Air Force’s chief of safety, replaces Lt. Gen. Glen W. Moorhead, who is retiring. The Izmir command is NATO’s air component headquarters in the region.

Moorhead is also commander of the 16th Air Force based at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. But McFann won’t command the 16th at Ramstein and will instead carry the title of commander of 16th Air Expeditionary Task Force at Izmir.

“The next commander here will not be dual-hatted,” said Maj. Lisa Neidinger, a public affairs officer for the 16th. Maj. Gen. Paul J. Fletcher, currently vice commander (Africa), will serve as interim commander until a replacement is named.

The Izmir command stood up in August 2004 when the former air component headquarters in Naples was deactivated. Until that time, Moorhead and his predecessors had spent time between Naples and Aviano, where the 16th was formerly located. The 16th combined with the 3rd Air Force from RAF Mildenhall, England, and moved to Ramstein earlier this year.

McFann is no stranger to split duties and split operations. His last assignment had him serving both at the service’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and as commander of the Air Force Safety Center at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.

He entered the Air Force in 1972 and logged assignments in Europe at RAF Alconbury (1979-1982), Geilenkirchen Air Base in Germany (1996-1998) and Stavanger, Norway (2001-2002). He is a command pilot with more than 4,400 hours in various aircraft.

British Air Marshal Dusty Miller will officiate at the ceremony, which will be attended by high-ranking officers from several countries. A parade will follow.

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Kent has filled numerous roles at Stars and Stripes including: copy editor, news editor, desk editor, reporter/photographer, web editor and overseas sports editor. Based at Aviano Air Base, Italy, he’s been TDY to countries such as Afghanistan Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia. Born in California, he’s a 1988 graduate of Humboldt State University and has been a journalist for almost 38 years.
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