Spaatz Center welcomes new leader

by Rebecca Burylo
Air University Public Affairs

8/23/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- It was a time of reflection as Maj. Gen. Brian Bishop assumed his dual responsibility as commander of the Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education and as commandant of the Air War College during a change of command ceremony Monday.

Bishop and relinquishing commander, Maj. Gen. Scott Hanson, recalled their times as AWC students.

"I remember the richness of the conversation you have in the seminar," Bishop said to the students. "Challenge yourself to ask tough questions. Think of different solutions. We are in very challenging times with our nation right now and it is up to each and every one of you to help us lead our way through that."

Juggling both roles as commander and commandant, Bishop is responsible for the consolidation of all the officer professional military education including AWC, Air Command and Staff College, Squadron Officer College, International Officer School and educational centers.

The Spaatz Center acts as the PME's unifying force in directing, integrating and synchronizing professional education to more than 5,000 Air Force, sister service, international officer and civilian students annually, using in-residence and distance learning courses.

Lieutenant Gen. David Fadok, the Air University commander and president, has had the honor of working with Bishop on the Air Staff and Joint Staff and looks forward to working with him again.

"I've witnessed firsthand this senior leader's intellect and commitment and they're remarkable," Fadok said. "I look forward to the bright future ahead for the Carl A. Spaatz Center for Officer Education as you take the reins."

Hanson also recalled his time as an AWC student, sitting in one of its classrooms as the nation was rocked by terrorism Sept. 11.

"When a crisis of that magnitude arises on our doorstep, we are all trained and geared to want to go and take care of that problem," Hanson said. "But it is important for us to understand that this time is to help prepare you and senior leaders like yourself for those future complex and uncertain times."

Hanson agrees Bishop will lead the students of the Spaatz Center to face those challenges and "develop air-minded leaders of character."

Hanson will continue his career as director of operations at Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, Ill.

With more than 4,100 flying hours, Bishop is a command pilot with a unique resume, including his last assignment as deputy chief of staff for the United Nations Command and U.S. Forces Korea, at Yongsan Army Garrison, South Korea, during the recent tensions on the peninsula.

Bishop also has held group and wing command positions and assignments at Headquarters Air Combat Command and the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force. He also commanded the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds.

Bishop hopes to build upon the foundation Hanson established in continuing to transform the delivery of education.

"I look forward to working with each and every one of you in developing our curriculum, in working research projects and making sure we are providing the best education possible to the future leaders of not just the Air Force, but the future leaders across all services and around the world," Bishop said.