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Space warrior marks his return

From left, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein passes the guidon of Air Force Space Command, to Gen. John Raymond at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Craig Denton)

From left, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein passes the guidon of Air Force Space Command, to Gen. John Raymond at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Craig Denton)

Mrs. Laura Hyten, wife of Gen. John Hyten, receives flowers as a thank you from the Airmen of Air Force Space Command during the AFSPC change of command ceremony Oct. 25, 2016, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The Hytens are moving to Offut Air Force Base, Neb., where the general will become the next commander of U.S. Strategic Command. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Craig Denton)

Mrs. Laura Hyten, wife of Gen. John Hyten, receives flowers as a thank you from the Airmen of Air Force Space Command during the AFSPC change of command ceremony Oct. 25, 2016, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The Hytens are moving to Offut Air Force Base, Neb., where the general will become the next commander of U.S. Strategic Command. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Craig Denton)

Gen. John Raymond takes questions from the media during his first press conference as commander of Air Force Space Command, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Gen. John Raymond takes questions from the media during his first press conference as commander of Air Force Space Command, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Gen. John Raymond prepares to address the media after taking charge of Air Force Space Command from Gen. John Hyten at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Gen. John Raymond prepares to address the media after taking charge of Air Force Space Command from Gen. John Hyten at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Tech. Sgt. William Marx, 21st Operations Support Squadron, salutes as the Air Force Space Command change of command ceremony begins, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. John Raymond,  previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force, took charge of AFSPC during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Tech. Sgt. William Marx, 21st Operations Support Squadron, salutes as the Air Force Space Command change of command ceremony begins, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. John Raymond, previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force, took charge of AFSPC during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Gen. John Raymond speaks with Airmen shortly after taking charge of Air Force Space Command, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Gen. John Raymond speaks with Airmen shortly after taking charge of Air Force Space Command, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein passes the Air Force Space Command guidon to Gen. John Raymond Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein passes the Air Force Space Command guidon to Gen. John Raymond Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Left, Air Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, and Gen. John Raymond salute during the National Anthem, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond took command of AFSPC minutes later. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Left, Air Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, and Gen. John Raymond salute during the National Anthem, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond took command of AFSPC minutes later. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein speaks during the Air Force Space Command change of command ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Minutes later, Gen. John Raymond took command of AFSPC. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein speaks during the Air Force Space Command change of command ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Minutes later, Gen. John Raymond took command of AFSPC. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Gen. John Raymond addresses audience members moments after taking charge of Air Force Space Command from Gen. John Hyten at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)
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Gen. John Raymond addresses audience members moments after taking charge of Air Force Space Command from Gen. John Hyten at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri)

Right, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, claps with (left) Air Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein minutes after Gen. John Raymond took command of AFSPC, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)
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Right, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, claps with (left) Air Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein minutes after Gen. John Raymond took command of AFSPC, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

From right, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, takes in the moment as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein looks on minutes before Goldfein passes command of AFSPC to Gen. John Raymond, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)
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From right, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, takes in the moment as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein looks on minutes before Goldfein passes command of AFSPC to Gen. John Raymond, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Gen. John W. Raymond assumed command from Gen. John E. Hyten as commander of U.S. Air Force Space Command during a ceremony here Oct. 25.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein presided over the change of command ceremony.

Hyten will assume command of U.S. Strategic Command, headquartered at Offutt AFB, Nebraska.

“All I want to do is say thank you, so thanks to each and every one of you,” said Hyten.

Goldfein spoke of Hyten’s progressive vision for the domains of space and cyberspace, calling his experience vital as he takes the helm of the nation’s strategic capabilities.

Goldfein commended Hyten for his dedication, innovation, and leadership and welcomed Raymond to the command.

“General Hyten is nothing short of a pioneer, much like Hap Arnold, Chuck Horner, and Bernie Schriever – leaders with extraterrestrial vision,” said Goldfein.

“When it was time to pick the next Air Force Space Command commander, Gen. Raymond was the obvious choice,” he said. “Remember while command can often be lonely, you don’t take this task on alone. We all have a stake in your success and we’ll be with you every step of the journey. Few of us are afforded the opportunity to lead and inspire. ... There’s never been a more important time to lead well than now.”

Raymond stressed his appreciation for Hyten’s vision and promised his unwavering commitment to continue to push the boundaries in space and cyberspace, and advance the operational skill sets of AFSPC Airmen.

“To the members of the Colorado Springs community, it is absolutely wonderful to be back,” said Raymond. “This is the fourth time we’ve had the privilege to work at Peterson Air Force Base, and I couldn’t be happier.

“To the men and women of Air Force Space Command, I could not be prouder to be back on your team. There’s no other organization that does what you do, and you do it so well," he said.

The vast majority of Raymond’s career has been focused on integrating space into the joint environment, and bringing space and cyberspace to the forefront of joint operations.

Raymond graduated in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in administrative management from Clemson University, where he was commissioned through the ROTC program. He also earned a master’s degree in the same subject from Central Michigan University.

Since 2007, the general has commanded the 30th Operations Group at Vandenberg AFB, California, the 21st Space Wing at Peterson AFB, Colorado, the 14th Air Force, headquartered at Vandenberg AFB, and led the Joint Functional Component Command for Space for USSTRATCOM.

Raymond revisits his space background after serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. His responsibilities included being responsible to the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff for crafting operational policy, which includes air, space, and cyberspace.