Air Force Change of Command at Tyndall

The new commander of the First Air Force at Tyndall Air Force Base is familiar with the area.

Maj. Gen, Marvin “Scott” Mayes took over the First Air Force during change of command ceremonies this week at Tyndall.

Gen. Mayes is the former leader of the Alabama Air National Guard. He takes on the responsibility for overseeing the air defense of the lower 48 states for NORAD.

With that authority comes the responsibility of deciding to shoot down highjacked civilian aircraft, including airliners.

"I intend to keep the main thing as the main thing. And that main thing is the air defense of North America."

Gen. Mayes replaces Major Gen. Craig R. McKinley who's been in command of the First Air Force since August, 2002. He’s being reassigned to Germany.