Nellis afb commanders

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Ex-Thunderbirds commander is new head of Nellis warfare center

Nellis Air Force Base welcomed a new commander of its Warfare Center on Friday.

Maj. Gen. Case Cunningham assumed command at 9 a.m. in a ceremony at the Nellis Thunderbird Hangar.

Cunningham has more than 3,200 flying hours, including more than 600 combat hours in three aircraft. He was previously the commander of the Thunderbirds and a director at the Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia.

Cunningham replaces Maj. Gen. Charles Corcoran.

The Warfare Center employs more than 13,000 people and oversees four wings, the Nevada Test and Training Range and the Air Force joint test program office.

“Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve service members and civilians located at 34 different locations across 22 states execute the (Warfare Center) mission,” the Air Force said in the statement.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at [email protected] or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

Posted on: Local, Local Nevada, Military, News
Tagged: mc-news

Two-star general at Nellis fired over suspected unprofessional relationship

Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten, the commander of the Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, was relieved of command Sunday over allegations of an unprofessional relationship.

“The Air Force holds leaders to high standards and expects them to uphold the core values of the service at all times,” Air Combat Command spokeswoman Leah Garton said in an email. “There is currently an on-going investigation and additional details will not be released at this time.”

ACC commander Gen. Mike Holmes fired Gersten “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command based on an alleged unprofessional relationship,” the command said in a Wednesday release.

Brig. Gen. David Snoddy, vice commander of the warfare center, has now assumed command. He will run the warfare center until July, when Maj. Gen. Charles Corcoran — who was already slated to be the center’s next commander — is scheduled to take over.

Gersten is an F-16 Falcon pilot who graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1989. He has also flown the unmanned MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and RQ-170 Sentinel, and has more than 2,800 flight hours. The Air Force said that 400 of those flight hours were in combat over Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Bosnia.

He has commanded the Air Force Warfare Center since July 2017 and has also held leadership roles in the Pentagon and as deputy commander for operations and intelligence for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

The Air Force Warfare Center was originally founded in 1966 as the Air Force Tactical Fighter Weapons Center and trains airmen to be ready to fight integrated combat operations while deployed. Nellis’ website said the center is intended to be “the world’s premier proving ground for air, space and cyberspace lethality.”

About Stephen Losey

Stephen Losey covers leadership and personnel issues as the senior reporter for Air Force Times. He comes from an Air Force family, and his investigative reports have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover Air Force operations against the Islamic State.


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The 99th Air Base Wing at Nellis Air Force Base has a new commander.

With the passing of the guidon — a pennant that designates a military unit — during a closed ceremony Thursday, Col. Todd Dyer assumed command of the base from Col. Cavan Craddock, Nellis officials announced.

Craddock, who has been commander of the base about 10 miles northeast of downtown Las Vegas since May 2018, is retiring after 25 years in the Air Force.

Maj. Gen. Charles Corcoran, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center commander, presided over the ceremony, which was closed to the media and most base employees because of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

“The work Col. Craddock has accomplished will positively impact Nellis, our Air Force, our joint force, and our partner nations for years to come,” Corcoran was quoted saying in a Nellis story on the change of command.

“He saw to the development of critical mission infrastructure which will propel the premier operational testing, tactics development, and advanced training missions housed here at Nellis and lead the way towards the realization of true joint, all-domain war fighting.”

Corcoran pointed to The Shadow Operations Center, Virtual Test and Training Center, and 53 WG data lab as a few of Craddock’s successes.

“I can’t say enough about his steadfast leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. He had to make some really tough, often unpopular, decisions, and those decisions have enabled Nellis to sustain its critical missions in support of our nation’s warfighters.”

Additionally, during his tenure, Craddock garnered approvals and funding for a new swimming area, which recently broke ground, 5G cell service for the base, and an off-base housing contract to address a dorm deficit, officials said.

“This assignment was an amazing opportunity and a great way to culminate my career,” Craddock said.

“It was the honor of a lifetime to lead the airmen of the 99th Air Base Wing. I knew when I took command that if I empowered them that they would establish dominance — and they’ve done just that. I could not be more proud of all they have done and I thank them for their amazing service.”

Dyer, an F-15E pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours and 700 combat hours, has taken the reins. He has received several major awards, including the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor. His previous assignment was vice commander of the 47th Flying Training Wing at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas.

Dyer will lead the 5,300 airmen providing mission assurance to six wings, 52 tenant units and 14,000 personnel across the base and Nevada Test and Training Range installation complex.

“As I take command today, my vision and goal for the airmen of the 99th is simple,” Dyer said. “Let’s continue to build relationships and execute at the level of excellence this wing is known for while creating an environment for our airmen and their families to thrive,” he said.

“My family and I are excited to join such an amazing and diverse group of airmen, and I know that together we will advance the Nellis legacy.”

Contact Briana Erickson at [email protected] or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

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