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Air Force Space Command leader retires

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – General Lance W. Lord (right), Commander of Air Force Space Command, receives the furled 4-star flag at his retirement ceremony here March 3. Air Force Chief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley (left) presided over the retirement ceremony. General Lord retires after a 37-year distinguished career of service to the U.S. Air Force and the country.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – General Lance W. Lord (right), Commander of Air Force Space Command, receives the furled 4-star flag at his retirement ceremony here March 3. Air Force Chief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley (left) presided over the retirement ceremony. General Lord retires after a 37-year distinguished career of service to the U.S. Air Force and the country.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Air Force Chief of Staff General T. Michael Moseley presided over the retirement ceremony for General Lance W. Lord, Commander of Air Force Space Command, here March 3. 

More than 700 current and former national defense leaders, active and retired senior officers, civic leaders and active-duty members witnessed the celebration of the general’s 37-year distinguished career of service to the U.S. Air Force and the country.

General Lord led the command and its approximately 40,000 space and missile professionals from April 19, 2002 to March 31, 2006.

During the ceremony, General Moseley presented General Lord with the Distinguished Service Medal, first oak leaf cluster, for his service as Commander of Air Force Space Command. Some of his accomplishments highlighted include: enabling the command to provide combat forces and capabilities to North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Strategic Command; supporting combat operations around the world to include Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom; establishment of the National Security Space Institute; the last Titan IV launch; and the Peacekeeper intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system deactivation.

General Moseley expanded on General Lord’s leadership.

“Lance, this current generation of space leaders and leaders across our entire Air Force looked to General Bennie [Bernard] Schriever as the pioneer and father of space and missiles,” said General Moseley. “However, I think there’s another leader among us that . . . future leaders will look up to. The lieutenants and captains today, and the Airmen and cadets of today will grow up looking at you. They’ll look at Lance Lord as that next generation of space leader because of what you’ve done. . .”

General Lord spoke about two highlights he was most proud of as AFSPC commander. First, he thanked the Air Force enlisted professionals who bestowed him with their highest honor of the Order of the Sword. Second, he described the High Frontier Adventures program.

“Most recently, I had a chance to teach a math and science class with 27 young 6th graders at the Discovery Canyon Campus north of here in Colorado Springs,” said General Lord. “Our whole idea was. . . to get the word out from us to participate with young people to help drive their interest in science and mathematics.”

As a surprise, Colorado Governor Bill Owen declared March 3, 2006, General Lance Lord Day in the state of Colorado.

General Lord leaves behind a lasting legacy in Air Force Space Command. As the general was fond of saying, “If you’re not in space, you’re not in the race.”