Maj. Gen. Charles Corcoran took the controls of the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center at Nellis Air Force Base on Friday, replacing a commander who was relieved of duty last month.
Corcoran was already slated to replace Maj. Gen. Peter Gersten, who was fired due to “a loss of confidence in his ability to command based on an alleged unprofessional relationship.”
Corcoran, who grew up on a farm in Ohio and was one of 16 children, recalled watching planes zoom overhead and deciding to join the Air Force when he grew up. He received his commission from the Air Force Academy in 1992.
Gen. James “Mike” Holmes, commander of the Air Combat Command, said he looked forward to seeing what Corcoran would accomplish with about 11,000 airmen under his command.
“Mostly, he’s a leader,” Holmes told them. “You’re going to learn how to do more. You’re going to learn how to be more. You’re going to learn how to achieve more, and you’re going to do that because General Corcoran has the ability to empower people that he works with.”
Friday’s assumption of command included a presentation of the colors and the naming of a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor bearing Corcoran’s name.
Previously, Corcoran served as the director of operations, strategic deterrence and nuclear integration in Europe, in Africa and at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
He also held a variety of positions at the squadron, group and wing level and was one of eight F-22 initial operational test and evaluation pilots. He is also a command pilot with more than 3,100 flying hours, including over 440 hours of combat time.
Corcoran previously served as chief of staff for the secretary of the Air Force, in the Air Forces Central Command and in other high-level positions.
The Air Force Warfare Center was founded in 1966 and trains airmen to be ready to fight integrated combat operations while deployed. According to the Nellis website, the center is “the world’s premiere proving ground for air, space and cyberspace lethality.”
It oversees about 11,000 personnel, active duty, guard, reserve and civilians in 22 states and 34 locations.
“This is the Las Vegas Strip of combat air power. … What the warfare center does, doesn’t stay here. We have a global impact every day,” Corcoran said.
“We will continue to inspire the next generation of airmen. We will continue to assist in services for allies and our nation … to make sure that we continue to push the boundaries and that we may be the greatest Air Force the world has ever seen.”