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COMPACAF bids Pacific Airmen farewell, honors 65 years of PACAF history

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

As we change command of Pacific Air Forces, we also celebrate our command's 65th birthday. It is an honor to have been a part of this historic command and to have had the opportunity to serve with PACAF's outstanding Airmen.

Having visited our bases often, one thing is clear - PACAF has a smart, innovative and driven force of Active Duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and civilian Airmen. The security and stability 36 Pacific nations enjoy is due in large part to your service, sacrifice, and dedication.

Today's United States Air Force is the greatest Air Force in the world because of the spirit and tenacity of our Airmen - men and women who serve a cause greater than themselves, and who continue to build on the legacy left by those who came before us with integrity, service and excellence.

August 3, 2009 marked 65 years of more than four million men and women serving our country in Far East Air Forces and Pacific Air Forces. Airmen of FEAF and PACAF have fought in the skies over tropical jungles, mountain peaks, desert sands, and Arctic tundra. More than 10,000 have sacrificed their lives and 30 have been awarded the Medal of Honor. Our Airmen have also conducted more than 40 major humanitarian missions throughout the Pacific. As inheritors of this legacy, PACAF's men and women now stand as freedom's guardians in an area encompassing half the globe and half the world's population.

Eva-Marie and I thank all of you for your dedication to our Air Force. We are grateful for having worked with you and for the opportunity to represent you in the Pacific for almost two years. Any measures of success we have achieved over the last two years are owed to your hard work. We bid you farewell, and take immense pride in PACAF as we celebrate 65 years of providing unrivaled airpower in the Pacific.

Editors note: Gen. Chandler departs PACAF on August 19 to become the vice chief of staff of the Air Force at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.