MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan - Maj. Gen. Christopher S. Owens relinquished his duties as the commanding general of 1st Marine Aircraft Wing to Brig. Gen. Steven R. Rudder at a change of command ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Futenma yesterday.
Owens assumed command of the 1st MAW in June 2012. During his tenure, elements of 1st MAW participated in numerous exercises with allies and partner nations throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Owens led 1st MAW to numerous aviation awards and through the transition to the MV-22B Osprey aircraft, which significantly strengthens the United States' ability to respond to contingencies and natural disasters in the region. Owens also led 1st MAW during the December 2012 flood relief in the Republic of the Philippines, where 1st MAW aircraft and personnel moved 750,000 pounds of relief supplies. Owens will become the commanding general of U.S. Marine Forces Korea and the assistant chief of staff, C/J-5 plans, policy and strategy, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea.
Owens thanked 1st MAW Marines, sailors and civilians for their dedicated service and steadfast devotion to the unit’s mission of maintaining the highest level of readiness in the Asia-Pacific region.
“It has been my greatest honor to serve as their commanding general,” said Owens. “While commanders come and go, (those who remain with 1st MAW) will continue the mission day and night to ensure we are ready for whatever may come next.”
Rudder’s previous assignment was at Headquarters Marine Corps where he served as the legislative assistant to the commandant of the Marine Corps. Throughout his career, Rudder has participated in deployments to Okinawa, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, and Iraq, and has taken part in Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
“When the commandant and the other general officers back in D.C. talk about this MAW, they talk about all the great things that have been accomplished,” said Rudder. “I intend to continue leading this MAW to greatness.”
For photos from today’s ceremony, please visit the links below. http://www.flickr.com/photos/3mefpao/sets/72157634562016924