by Maj. Larry van der Oord
14th Air Force Public Affairs
2/4/2014 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Lt.
Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond assumed command of Joint Functional
Component Command for Space and 14th Air Force during a ceremony at the
Joint Space Operations Center here Jan. 31, 2014.
Raymond, who was promoted to lieutenant general an hour prior to the
change of command, previously served as the director of plans and policy
at U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of USSTRATCOM, and Gen. William Shelton,
commander of Air Force Space Command, presided over the ceremony during
which Lt. Gen. Susan Helms relinquished command to Raymond.
During his remarks, Shelton stressed the importance of the space mission and welcomed Raymond into his new role.
"The mission here at 14th Air Force is so incredibly important for our
nation and the world," said Shelton. "No one in our Air Force is more
qualified to take over this job than Jay Raymond. I have complete
confidence in him, and I know it's going to be a great ride."
Haney echoed Shelton's trust in Raymond, and discussed the significant
role JFCC Space plays in USSTRATCOM's strategic deterrence and assurance
"Fourteenth Air Force and JFCC Space provide our nation with a unique
skill set that I will continue to advocate for in this strategic
environment," said Haney. "Without the capability this organization
delivers, we would not be able to maintain a credible deterrent. I know
Lt. Gen. Raymond will only continue to build upon the outstanding work
accomplished here at JFCC Space."
Raymond expressed his excitement to return to Vandenberg and to continue the growth of JFCC Space and the 14th AF.
"I can't begin to describe how excited and humbled I am to be given the
opportunity to lead this world class team of professionals and to return
to Vandenberg Air Force Base," said Raymond. "The complex strategic
environment we face today demands we build upon the great work that has
been done by our predecessors many of whom are with us today. We must
focus on flawlessly operating, commanding and controlling, protecting,
and defending our space capabilities in order to preserve the strategic
advantage they provide our nation, our allies and our joint force."
Raymond was commissioned through the ROTC program at Clemson University
in 1984. He was previously stationed at Vandenberg AFB from June 2005
through June 2007 when he commanded the 30th Operations Group. He has
also commanded the 5th Space Surveillance Squadron at Royal Air Force
Feltwell, England, and the 21st Space Wing at Peterson AFB, Colo.
Raymond deployed to Southwest Asia in 2006 as Director of Space Forces
in support of operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
As the commander of JFCC Space, which is a component of USSTRATCOM,
Raymond is responsible for executing continuous, integrated space
operations to deliver theater and global effects in support of national
and combatant commander objectives.
As the commander of 14th AF, the Air Force's sole Numbered Air Force for
space, Raymond leads an operational mission that includes space launch
from the east and west coasts, satellite command and control, missile
warning, space situational awareness and command and control of assigned
and attached joint space forces.
Helms will retire later this year after more than 33 years of service in the U.S. Air Force.
"No Numbered Air Force commander has ever been as lucky as I am today,"
said Helms. "It has been the greatest privilege and most humbling honor
to be your commander. I am thrilled for the organization moving forward,
and thrilled for General Raymond as he takes over command."