General pins on star, assumes command of USJFCOM
by 1st Lt. Tawny M. Dotson
The next commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command was promoted to the rank of general at a ceremony held today at U.S. Central Command headquarters at MacDill.
Lt. Gen. Lance L. Smith pinned on his fourth star while Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, commander of CENTCOM, presided over the ceremony.
President George W. Bush nominated General Smith to the rank of general and to command U.S. Joint Forces Command. The general assumed his new duties Thursday afternoon in a ceremony aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Headquartered in Norfolk, Va., USJFCOM is one of nine unified commands in the Department of Defense. The general will oversee the command's roles in transformation, experimentation, joint training, interoperability and force provision and management as outlined in the Department of Defense's Unified Command Plan.
USJFCOM is a force of more than 1.16 million dedicated men and women, spanning USJFCOM's four service component commands and eight subordinate activities. USJFCOM personnel include members from each branch of the U.S. military, civil servants, contract employees and consultants.
NATO has also agreed to appoint Smith as NATO's Supreme Allied Commander-Transformation.
General Smith served as the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command since October 2003.
A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is a native of Washington D.C., and graduated from Officer's Training School in 1970. His career has included more than seven years in command including 7th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces and Air Component Commander, Republic of Korea and U.S. Combined Forces Command Korea. The general also served two tours at the Pentagon and was commandant of the NATO School at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, commandant of the Air War College and commander of the Air Force Doctrine Center.
The general has flown more than 165 combat missions in Southeast and Southwest Asia in the A-1 Skyraider and the F-15E Strike Eagle. A command pilot, he has more than 3,000 hours in the T-33 Shooting Star, T-37 Tweet, T-38 Talon, A-1, A-7 Corsair, A-10 Thunderbolt, F-111F Aardvark, F-15E and F-16 Falcon.