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Gen. Roger Brady, new commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, accepts the NATO Allied Air Component Command flag from Gen. John Craddock, supreme allied commander Europe, during a ceremony Thursday. Italian Air Force Warrant Officer 1st Class Oscar De Mauro, left, command sergeant major for NATO, carried the NATO flag during the ceremony.

Gen. Roger Brady, new commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, accepts the NATO Allied Air Component Command flag from Gen. John Craddock, supreme allied commander Europe, during a ceremony Thursday. Italian Air Force Warrant Officer 1st Class Oscar De Mauro, left, command sergeant major for NATO, carried the NATO flag during the ceremony. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

Gen. Roger Brady, new commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, accepts the NATO Allied Air Component Command flag from Gen. John Craddock, supreme allied commander Europe, during a ceremony Thursday. Italian Air Force Warrant Officer 1st Class Oscar De Mauro, left, command sergeant major for NATO, carried the NATO flag during the ceremony.

Gen. Roger Brady, new commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, accepts the NATO Allied Air Component Command flag from Gen. John Craddock, supreme allied commander Europe, during a ceremony Thursday. Italian Air Force Warrant Officer 1st Class Oscar De Mauro, left, command sergeant major for NATO, carried the NATO flag during the ceremony. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

Gen. John Craddock, left, supreme allied commander Europe, and Gen. Roger Brady, the new commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, render honors as the German nation anthem is performed during an assumption of command ceremony Thursday in a hangar at Ramstein Air Base. Brady ceremonially received leadership of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the NATO Allied Air Component Command.

Gen. John Craddock, left, supreme allied commander Europe, and Gen. Roger Brady, the new commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, render honors as the German nation anthem is performed during an assumption of command ceremony Thursday in a hangar at Ramstein Air Base. Brady ceremonially received leadership of U.S. Air Forces in Europe and the NATO Allied Air Component Command. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Hundreds of airmen, NATO leaders and German politicians gathered in a hangar Thursday to ceremoniously welcome the U.S. Air Force’s new top officer in Europe.

An “assumption of command” ceremony at the mammoth C-5 hangar symbolically ushered in Gen. Roger Brady as the commander of both U.S. Air Forces in Europe and NATO’s Allied Air Component Command. He officially took over both posts last week after receiving his fourth star.

Brady, a pilot who previously served as deputy chief of staff for Air Force headquarters’ manpower and personnel, was stationed at USAFE headquarters in the late 1990s.

“It’s good to be back home,” he said in his speech before about 1,000 people.

Brady served as director of logistics from July 1997 to June 1998 and director of plans and programs from July 1998 to July 1999 at USAFE headquarters.

He replaced Gen. Tom Hobbins, who retired last December.

Brady said he takes over a “magnificent team” and commended Hobbins for his leadership during his two-year tenure.

After acknowledging the many NATO leaders in the crowd, Brady called the alliance the “most powerful and most important” in history.

Army Gen. John Craddock, NATO’s supreme allied commander and U.S. European Command’s chief, handed Brady the USAFE and NATO Allied Air Component Command’s flags at the ceremony.


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