BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
Brig. Gen. Andrew Gebara, director of Strategic Plans, Programs and Requirements for Air Force Global Strike Command, was promoted to major general, May 29.
This will be the first time in the command’s history that the A5/8 Director position will be held by a two star general. This elevation in rank of the directorate position signifies the continued growth and prominence of the command over the last few years.
During his virtual promotion ceremony Gebara said, “Thank you so much, not just for joining Nikki and I here today, but thank you for what you’re doing to keep our country safe.” Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and safety restrictions, four distinguished guests attended in person and 300 viewed it virtually.
The AFGSC mission and Barksdale AFB are special for Gebara and his family. This is the third time he has been assigned here – once as a lieutenant and captain, once as the wing commander, and now as a headquarters staff member.
“I’m a little overwhelmed with appreciation,” Gebara said. “I know that we are a safe and secure country, and a lot of that is due to the men and women of Global Strike Command who are on watch right now.”
Gen. Tim Ray, AFGSC commander, presided over the promotion ceremony. Ray and Gebara were assigned here together in the 1990s as young officers.
“This day was planned a while ago,” Ray said. “We knew we wanted to make the deputy commander job a three star job, not just because we wanted a three star deputy, but because we really wanted a two star director of plans, programs and requirements – more importantly, we wanted the right person to fill this billet.”
With an impressive background and career both academically and militarily, Gebara brings firsthand experience and knowledge that will be invaluable to the command.
Ray is only the second four star commander here since the command’s activation in August 2009. Additionally, Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, AFGSC deputy commander, is the first three-star deputy in the command’s history.
Elevating these positions just years after naming the command a four-star major command and months after elevating the deputy commander position sends a clear and powerful message to Airmen, allies and enemies - the Air Force is committed to ensuring a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent and global strike capability is led by the right level of leadership.
Similarly, increasing the rank of supporting staff positions, like Gebara’s, signifies the importance of the nuclear mission and the role it plays in a complex global environment.
“I have to have the very best people as we write the next chapter of history,” Ray said, and with Gebara as the A5/8 director, he is confident he has the right leaders on his team.