THAAD on display during change of command ceremony
Guam – With a hearty salute and an about face, the change of command was a sealed deal. And with hundreds in attendance, all eyes were on the new commander Friday morning at Hangar One.
Introducing Brigadier General Gentry W. Boswell, the new commander of 36th Wing Pacific Air Forces, Andersen Air Force Base Guam—the most forward sovereign U.S. Air Force Base in the Pacific region, described by 11th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach as “critical air power.”
Boswell relieves Brigadier General Douglas A. Cox, the single-star general who has served as Andersen’s commander since May of 2016.
The new commander inherits responsibility for 8,500 military and civilian personnel. Including five groups and 17 squadrons executing Pacific Command’s continuous bomber presence, theater security packages, and contingency response operations. Also under under Boswell’s command is the integration of air and space forces. In addition to his Air Force-specific duties, Boswell becomes Deputy Commander of the Navy-led Joint Region Marianas.
The new commander’s arsenal at Andersen includes choppers, bombers, and a mission-critical THAAD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system. Considered indispensable in regional defense posturing with North Korea, THAAD is an anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to shoot down offensive missiles in their reentry phase. Once positioned at an undisclosed location at Andersen, this system was on full display for all to see at Andersen’s Hangar One on Friday morning.
Commander Boswell’s promotion follows his departure from Headquarters Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, where he served as Director of Operations and Communications. Now off he goes into the wild blue yonder, climbing high into new brass earned and won.