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Rice takes command of U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force

UNRELEASED | Feb. 25, 2008

Lieutenant Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr. assumed command of U.S. Forces, Japan, and Fifth Air

Force Feb. 25 during a Change of Command ceremony at Yokota Air Base.

Rice, former Vice Commander, Pacific Air Forces, headquartered at Hickam Air Force Base,

Hawaii, replaced Lieutenant Gen. Bruce A. Wright, who retired today.

Admiral Timothy J. Keating, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command and Gen. Carrol H.

Chandler, commander, Pacific Air Forces, were present to officiate at the ceremony.

In his speech, Lt. Gen. Wright spoke about the contributions of those who attended the

ceremony in strengthening the U.S. – Japan alliance.

“You and all those you represent have accomplished much in the past three years,” he said.

“…you have substantially enhanced the interoperability of our two militaries, and you are very

successfully updating the roles, missions, and capabilities of both militaries in the way we plan,

train, and execute as increasingly-capable, mutually supportive, operational partners.

Lt. Gen. Rice credited Lt. Gen. Wright for his work in the Security Consultative

Committee’s Roadmap for Alignment Implementation.

“A large measure of the credit for that progress rightfully goes to Lt. Gen. Wright for his

stewardship of USFJ and 5th Air Force over the last three years,” Rice said. “He was the right leader,

at the right time and his contributions to the alliance will surely stand the test of time.”