Third Air Force welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By HQ USAFE-AFARICA Public Affairs
  • HQ USAFE-AFARICA Public Affairs

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Paul D. Moga assumed command of Third Air Force during a ceremony, April 3, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.  

Gen. James B. Hecker, U.S. Air Forces in Europe - Air Forces Africa commander, presided over the ceremony.  

“I’ve known Maj. Gen. Paul Moga for years and he has always exceeded expectations and paved a course of excellence. I’m confident he will take 3 AF to the next level, leading its operations and organizational culture by exemplifying their three core tenets: develop, defend and deliver,” said Hecker.

Moga previously served as the Chief of Staff at USAFE-AFAFRICA before assuming command.   

As 3 AF commander, Moga will issue directives to 10 wings, exercising authorities over assigned forces on personnel management and advising subordinate commands on requirements, programs, and budgets. 

“To the men and women of the command, I’m proud to be joining your ranks as we continue our steadfast efforts to develop, defend, and deliver in our relentless pursuit of excellence in the business of all-things airpower,” said Moga after assuming command.  

Moga said that, in light of the Air Force’s service-wide Reoptimization for Great Power Competition across the USAF enterprise, the numbered air forces will see Airmen reshape, refocus and reoptimize capabilities to ensure continued supremacy in air, space and cyberspace.  

The outgoing 3 AF commander, Maj. Gen. Derek C. France, was selected for command of Air Forces Central on March 14. As the top USAF commander in the Middle East, France will also serve as Combined Forces Air Component Commander.  

“Maj. Gen. France's two-year tenure as the 3 AF commander was marked by regional tensions brought about by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, along with positive German and American partnerships,” said Hecker. “His time at Ramstein also included a demanding tour as the USAFE-AFRICA A3 director of operations, strategic deterrence and nuclear integration. These experiences prepared him to lead the AFCENT team, empowering Airmen to bolster our U.S. Central Command country partners while countering regional aggressors.”

Moga left Airmen and families of 3 AF with inspiring parting words before concluding his remarks.

“Third AF has seen its fair share of changes over the decades – changes in location, mission, aircraft, people,” said Moga. “However, one thing remains an enduring constant: the Airmen of this command, supported by their families, are forward thinking, adaptive, and ready to tackle any and every challenge that comes their way.”