Change of command at MacDill Air Force Base - WFLA News Channel 8

Change of command at MacDill Air Force Base

Posted: Updated:
Change of Command Change of Command
General Lloyd Austin III General Lloyd Austin III
Change of Command Change of Command
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

The U.S. Secretary of Defense, foreign ambassadors and a number of ranking general officers were at Macdill Air Force Base Friday morning as U.S. Central Command received a new leader.  General James Mattis is relinquishing command to General Lloyd Austin III.

General Mattis took command of CENTCOM in August of 2010, overseeing the U.S. military departure from Iraq and a force reduction in Afghanistan.  General Mattis was caught up briefly in the scandal that cost his predecessor his job.  Mattis's name was mentioned in emails written by Tampa socialite Jill Kelley.

Several published reports say General Mattis was fired from CENTCOM by President Obama without even a phone call.

General Mattis was known in the military as highly professional, but also blunt.  He was a highly decorated Marine who's nickname was "Mad Dog".

None of the controversy was mentioned at the ceremony Friday morning. Instead Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel focused on the long and highly decorated career of General Mattis.

Secretary Hagel said, "Jim Mattis has been front and center of every major combat operation this nation has conducted for more than two decades."

General Mattis led Marines as a battalion commander during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

Secretary Hagel also said Mattis commanded the longest assault from the sea in modern history as he led a task force more than 400 miles into Afghanistan after the attacks of September 11th.

The new leader of U.S. Central Command, General Austin also commanded combat troops.  He served as commander of the 82nd Airborne, and the 10th Mountain Division. 

Secretary Hagel said, "With his calm demeanor, strategic vision, regional experience and knowledge and proven judgement,  I am confident General Austin is prepared to lead this command."

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:06:23 GMT
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
  • SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:50:00 GMT
    WFLA file photo.WFLA file photo.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
  • An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-07-30 15:53:07 GMT
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:06:23 GMT
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
  • SWAT team invades wrong house, Sarasota woman files lawsuit

    SWAT team invades wrong house, Sarasota woman files lawsuit

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:00:51 GMT
    Louise Goldsberry shows where she spotted the swat team before they entered her home Louise Goldsberry shows where she spotted the swat team before they entered her home
    In July 2013, Louise Goldsberry was washing dishes in her Sarasota apartment when she saw a camouflaged man with a large weapon outside her window.
    In July 2013, Louise Goldsberry was washing dishes in her Sarasota apartment when she saw a camouflaged man with a large weapon outside her window.
  • Closing arguments wrap up in McTear trial

    Closing arguments wrap up in McTear trial

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-07-30 20:33:43 GMT
    Attorneys had one last chance to try to sway jurors Wednesday before they deliberate if Richard McTear is guilty of throwing a baby out of a car window onto I-275.
    Attorneys had one last chance to try to sway jurors Wednesday before they deliberate if Richard McTear is guilty of throwing a baby out of a car window onto I-275.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • 8 ways to save on groceries without coupons

    8 ways to save on groceries without coupons

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:07 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:07:49 GMT
    Wikimedia Commons photo by Eja2kWikimedia Commons photo by Eja2k
    ShopSmart magazine sent undercover shoppers through grocery store aisles and discovered plenty of ways to lower your grocery bill.
    ShopSmart magazine sent undercover shoppers through grocery store aisles and discovered plenty of ways to lower your grocery bill.
  • Couple's selfie photobombed by lightning bolt

    Couple's selfie photobombed by lightning bolt

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:56 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:56:28 GMT
    A couple vacationing in Mexico was almost hit by lightning, a few sources including Washington Post reported Tuesday.
    A couple vacationing in Mexico was almost hit by lightning, a few sources including Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.