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NORAD, Northern Command and Space Command change leaders

Gen. Glen D. VanHerck addresses the audience at a changing-of-command ceremony in Colorado Springs on Thursday. VanHerck will lead the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command. Image via Department of Defense livestream
Gen. Glen D. VanHerck addresses the audience at a changing-of-command ceremony in Colorado Springs on Thursday. VanHerck will lead the North American Aerospace Defense Command and the U.S. Northern Command. Image via Department of Defense livestream

Aug. 20 (UPI) -- NORAD, the U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Space Command held back-to-back change of command ceremonies at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs Thursday.

Air Force Gen. D. VanHerck became commander of both North American Aerospace Defense Command, known as NORAD, and U.S. Northern Command.

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He succeeds retiring Air Force.Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy relinquished command, who was presented with a distinguished service award at the ceremony.

"I am deeply honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve our joint force and our nation," VanHerck said.

VanHerck was confirmed by the Senate last week. He's served in the Air Force for 33 years and most recently served as Director of Joint Staff.

Also on Thursday, Army Gen. James H. Dickinson succeeded Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond as commander of U.S. Space Command. Raymond was sworn in as head of the newly created Space Force in January.

The Senate confirmed Dickinson's nomination Aug. 6.

Dickinson had most recently served as deputy commander of U.S. Space Command and had previously served as the commander of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense.

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Dickinson will be the first Army officer to lead the military's command for space operations.

"Gen. Dickinson, Jim, as you take command I want you to know that you have shown the general acumen and leadership abilities to serve Space Command well," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said.

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