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Toth bids goodbye to Team Andersen as Cox takes helm

Brig. Gen. Douglas Cox, the new 36th Wing commander, renders his first salute during a change of command ceremony May 6, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Smoot)

Brig. Gen. Douglas Cox, the new 36th Wing commander, renders his first salute during a change of command ceremony May 6, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Smoot)

Lynae Cox, spouse of the 36th Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Douglas Cox, receives flowers during the wing change of command ceremony May 6, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. During the change of command, Cox assumed command of the 36th Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Smoot)

Lynae Cox, spouse of the 36th Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Douglas Cox, receives flowers during the wing change of command ceremony May 6, 2016, at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. During the change of command, Cox assumed command of the 36th Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Smoot)

Master Sgt. Iain Morrison, 554th RED HORSE engineering flight superintendent, plays the bagpipes during the 36th Wing change of command ceremony May 6, 2016, at Andersen AFB, Guam. A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Arielle Vasquez/Released)

Master Sgt. Iain Morrison, 554th RED HORSE engineering flight superintendent, plays the bagpipes during the 36th Wing change of command ceremony May 6, 2016, at Andersen AFB, Guam. A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding officer to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Arielle Vasquez/Released)

Airmen and Soldiers assigned to Andersen Air Force Base stand in formation during the 36th Wing change of command ceremony May 6, 2016, at Andersen AFB, Guam. A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding or flag officer to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Arielle Vasquez/Released)

Airmen and Soldiers assigned to Andersen Air Force Base stand in formation during the 36th Wing change of command ceremony May 6, 2016, at Andersen AFB, Guam. A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding or flag officer to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Arielle Vasquez/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Michael McMillan, 36th Wing command chief, stands with the wing guidon during a change in command ceremony May 6, 2016, at Andersen AIr Force Base, Guam. The ceremony marked the transfer of command from Brig. Gen. Andrew Toth to Brig. Gen. Douglas Cox. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel)

Chief Master Sgt. Michael McMillan, 36th Wing command chief, stands with the wing guidon during a change in command ceremony May 6, 2016, at Andersen AIr Force Base, Guam. The ceremony marked the transfer of command from Brig. Gen. Andrew Toth to Brig. Gen. Douglas Cox. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- After two years in command of the 36th Wing, Brig. Gen. Andrew Toth turned over command to Brig. Gen. Douglas Cox during a change of command ceremony May 6.

As commander, Cox is charged to provide for the health and welfare of a diverse base of active-duty, guard and reserve component Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and their families.

Lt. Gen. Russell Handy, 11th Air Force commander, presided over the change of command ceremony and passed the wing’s guidon from Toth to Cox in the traditional gesture that symbolizes the transfer of authority and responsibility.

“(General Toth) has fostered powerful relationships and looked at Joint Region Marianas with a refreshing, common-sense approach – embracing and enhancing what functions are well-served jointly and preserving service core competencies that make sense,” Handy said. “(He) took great pride in ensuring he takes care of our Air Force mission, our Airmen and our joint region partnership.”

Before relinquishing his command to his successor, Toth expressed his gratitude to the uniformed and civilian Airmen and families of Team Andersen and Guam’s community for their support during his tenure.

“It is a privilege to stand before you one last time to honor and thank the Airmen, warriors and leaders of the 36th Wing,” he said. “You have exceeded every expectation. Your innovation, war-fighting capability and commitment to serve, rank you among the greatest generations to stand in defense of our nation.”

Under his leadership, Andersen AFB teams have supported more than 1,000 B-52 Stratofortress and B-2 Spirit continuous bomber presence missions, encompassing more than 6,000 flight hours, bolstering U.S. policy in the vital Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Toth, who led the 36th Wing since 2014, will depart Guam to take on the position of assistant deputy commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command, and assistant vice commander, 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force, Air Combat Command at Shaw AFB, South Carolina.

Handy expressed his confidence in Cox's experience and ability to take command and to continue the accomplishments of Team Andersen, he said, while introducing the new commander to those in attendance.

“It is a very important and dynamic time in the Indo-Asia-Pacific and Doug Cox is exactly the officer this base, this theater needs to lead us through these very challenging times,” Handy said.

Cox comes to the 36th Wing from his former post as director, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-United Kingdom, headquartered at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, where he was responsible for providing support to U.S. Air Force units within the U.K., U.S. European Command, NATO, USAFE and U.S. Government Agencies.

Addressing attending service members and officials, Cox shared his excitement to take on the mission and lead the joint Team Andersen.

"Lynae and I are very humbled and honored to stand before you today," Cox said. "We are tasked with a great mission in a beautiful location. I can't wait to serve with you, and we can't wait to serve for you. We are really excited about this important mission here at Andersen AFB."

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