Air Education And Training Command Welcomes New Leader | Texas Public Radio

Air Education And Training Command Welcomes New Leader

Jul 26, 2019

Air Education and Training Command, headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, welcomed a new leader on July 26. 

AETC is the primary training and professional education command in the Air Force. It includes the Air Force Recruiting Service, two numbered air forces and Air University. The command operates 12 major installations, supports tenant units all over the world and trains more than 293,000 students per year.

At a mid-morning ceremony at Hangar 4, Lt. Gen. Marshall "Brad" Webb took over for Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast, who held the assignment since November 2017. 

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein presided over the 40-minute ceremony, which was attended by civic leaders including Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Richard Perez of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. 

Four flights of airmen representing the AETC stood at attention throughout. They included the 59th Medical Wing, Air Force Recruiting Services, 19th Air Force and 2nd Air Force. 

Kwast passed the guidon and reflected on his time with AETC. 

“It has been the honor of a lifetime to watch you do all the work to transform the way we learn,” he said. “Our Air Force and our nation will win any fight in this 21st century because our youngest generation know how to think. Not what to think, but how to think.”

In his time as AETC commander, Kwast oversaw major shifts in Air Force basic training protocols. He also launched Pilot Training Next, an effort to accelerate pilot training with the use of virtual reality tools and self-directed learning methods. 

He also contended with a bevy of aircraft crashes and mechanical problems, including oxygen system issues with the T-6A Texan II trainer, the Air Force’s primary training plane.

The incoming Lt. Gen. Webb greeted onlookers and pledged to continue a tradition of innovation.

"AETC, the first command for our Air Force, simply must arm our airmen to out-think, out-perform, out-innovate any potential adversary. And we must do this with a commitment to values."

Webb graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1984. The Austin native is a command pilot with more than 3,700 flying hours, including 117 combat hours in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia. He was previously commander of Air Force Special Operations Command.

Representatives from AETC did not provide any information about Lt. Gen. Kwast’s next assignment. 

Carson Frame can be reached at Carson@TPR.org and on Twitter at @carson_frame.