Givhan assumes command of LeMay Center

by Rebecca Burylo
Air University Public Affairs

1/11/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- Major Gen. Walter Givhan came home last week as he assumed command of the Curtis E. LeMay Center for Doctrine Development and Education during a ceremony Jan. 4.

Givhan succeeded Maj. Gen. Thomas Andersen, who retired. Moving in to a position that is dual-hatted, Givhan also assumes duties as the Air University vice commander.

Growing up in Safford, Ala., Givhan looked up at his father, uncle and cousins flying planes overhead and dreamed of one day flying alongside them.

The Air Force was able to make that dream a reality for Givhan.

With more than 2,500 flying hours as a command pilot and more than 31 years in the service, some of Givhan's previous assignment have included: U.S. air liaison officer to the commanding general, French ground forces, for operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm; and commanding general of the Combined Air Power Transition Force, which led the effort to rebuild the Afghan air force. Givhan also was commandant of the Air Force Institute of Technology, a component of the Air University at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Givhan most recently left his post as deputy assistant secretary for plans, programs and operations at the bureau of political-military affairs at the State Department in Washington, D.C.

"I'm coming home to Alabama, which is the place I was born, the place I was raised. I grew up loving this place and always yearned to come back to it," he said. "It's great to put on the uniform again, wear the blue and be back to that place that was the realization of that dream that I had when I was riding horses."

Through his time in the Air Force, Givhan has flown fighter jets, traveled the globe and done things he would never have been able to do without his time at AU teaching him and equipping him with the necessary knowledge an Airman needs to succeed in his military career, he said.

Lieutenant Gen. David Fadok, commander and president of the Air University, said he could not think of a more qualified candidate to take over the LeMay Center and become his right-hand man than Givhan.

"I can't think of a better way to kick things off here in 2013 than by officially handing over the reins of the LeMay Center to Maj. Gen. Walter Givhan," Fadok said. "I've witnessed firsthand your intellect, leadership and vision. That is why I have full confidence in your ability to deliver and your ability to advance the stellar legacy of the LeMay center for Doctrine Development and Education. I look forward to great things to come."

More than 1,200 students graduate from LeMay Center courses annually. The center is responsible for the research, development, and production of Air Force doctrine and input for joint and multinational doctrine development activities.

The center is also responsible for advocating the proper doctrinal representation of airpower in exercise scenarios, war games, models and simulations, and providing policy and guidance of Air Force doctrine through education and focused outreach.