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Gen. Mark Kelly takes over at Langley Air Force Base’s Air Combat Command

U.S. Air Force Gen. Mark D. Kelly, 12th Air Force commander, presents Col. Scott Campbell, 355th Fighter Wing outgoing commander with the Legion of Merit medal during a change of command ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., June 29, 2018. (U.S. Air Force/Released)
September 03, 2020

Gen. Mark Kelly is the new leader of the Air Combat Command — the Air Force’s major command for combat air forces headquartered at Langley Air Force Base.

Kelly took command Friday, succeeding Gen. Mike Holmes.

Kelly leads a command that operates more than 1,000 aircraft in 35 wings at more than 240 locations around the world. The command includes more than 156,000 military and civilian personnel.

“There is no business, there is no sport – there is no challenge that compares to high-end, high-tech, high-speed combat,” Kelly said as he accepted command. “It is very unfortunately the ultimate team competition, and so it requires an ultimate team.”

A pilot with more than 6,000 flying hours, including more than 800 combat hours in fighter aircraft, Kelly has commanded a fighter squadron, two fighter wings, an expeditionary wing and two Numbered Air Forces in the course of his career.

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He comes to Langley after two years as Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations at the Pentagon, where he led development and implementation of policy supporting global operations, force management, weather, training and readiness across air, space and cyber fields.

Kelly joined the Air Force in 1986, receiving his commission from the Air Force ROTC program at Southwest Texas State University. He has a masters degree from the Air Command and Staff College and another from the National War College.

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