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U.S. Transportation Command`s top general retires

Air Force General John W. Handy retired from the Air Force in a ceremony here today as the outgoing commander of U.S. Transportation Command and commander of Air Mobility Command.

Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presided over the USTRANSCOM change of command event and Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. T. Michael Mosely presided over the AMC change of command event.

Air Force Gen. Norton A. Schwartz assumed command of USTRANSCOM while Gen. Handy relinquished command of AMC to Air Force Lt Gen. Christopher A. Kelly.

Today marked the first separation of command responsibilities between USTRANSCOM and AMC, the Air Force component command to USTRANSCOM. Handy served as commander for USTRANSCOM and commander of AMC during the past four years.

Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld awarded Handy with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. Handy`s wife, Mary 'Mickey' Handy received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Secretary.

Mosely presented Handy with the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal. Mrs. Handy was awarded the Air Force Exceptional Service Award for outstanding service throughout her husband`s career.

Today`s event marked Handy`s retirement after 39 years of active duty service. Handy has served concurrently as Commander USTRANSCOM and Commander AMC since 2001.

During his career he held a number of command positions including the 21st Air Force at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J.; the Air Mobility Command`s Tanker Airlift Control Center; two airlift wings and a maintenance squadron. He has served as the Director of Operations and Logistics for USTRANSCOM; the Air Force`s Director of Programs and Evaluations; Air Force`s Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics; and the Vice Chief of Staff, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.

Handy is a 1966 graduate of Methodist College and holds a Master`s degree in systems management from the University of Southern California. He is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, the Air War College, the National War College, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1992, Gen. Handy received an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Methodist College.

The new USTRANSCOM commander, Gen. Schwartz, graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1973 and holds a master`s degree from Central Michigan University. He is also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, the National War College, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Schwartz is a command pilot with more than 4,200 hours flown in a variety of air frames.

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