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AFNIC welcomes new commander

Gen. William Shelton, Air Force Space Command commander, presents the Air Force Network Intergration Center guidon to Col. Amy Arwood signifying to start of Arwood's command of AFNIC during a ceremony June 26, 2013 at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.  Arwood arrived from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where she served as the Director of Staff of the 412th Test Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Divine Cox)

General William L. Shelton, Commander of Air Force Space Command, presents the Air Force Network Integration Center flag to Col. Amy V. Arwood during a change of command ceremony June 26 at Scott Air Force Base, Ill. Arwood arrived from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where she served as Director of Staff for the 412th Test Wing. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Devine Cox )

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Col. Amy V. Arwood assumed command of the Air Force Network Integration Center from Col. Rizwan Ali June 26 in a ceremony officiated by General William L. Shelton, Commander of Air Force Space Command.

Colonel Arwood joins AFNIC from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where she served as the Director of Staff for the 412th Test Wing. She has served in a variety of cyber operations and communications maintenance positions from headquarters to tactical levels throughout her more than 25 years of service, including command at the flight, squadron and wing levels.

General Shelton began the ceremony praising the people of AFNIC for the advantage, innovation and technical expertise they provide in support of the Air Force cyber mission. He emphasized the importance of cyber in today's military, stressing that cyber capabilities underpin every single military operation.

"We need our best minds looking for solutions to [cyber] problems and better ways to operate and defend our networks - the networks the warfighter critically depends on," he said. "This is where the professionals here at the AFNIC come in ... AFNIC is at the heart of the Air Force's cyberspace efforts."

General Shelton described the many accomplishments the people of AFNIC achieved under the leadership of Colonel Ali and expressed his confidence in Colonel Arwood to continue that legacy.

"Amy, with the pace of change, the ops tempo, the threats associated with cyber, and our constrained resources, I don't think I need to tell you this is going to be challenging," he said. "I know you're up to the challenge; we're counting on you to lead this center to further accomplishments and success."

In his speech, Colonel Ali praised the people of AFNIC for the incredible accomplishments they achieved in just 24 months, including completing the center's largest reorganization in more than 20 years and making significant progress with the Air Force's top cyber priority, AFNet Migration. He also commended the innovative culture of the center.

"Anyone that tells you innovation is difficult hasn't met the people of AFNIC," said Colonel Ali. "All of you seized that innovative gauntlet and made it happen, making huge impacts."

After the symbolic passing of the guidon, Colonel Arwood addressed the men and women of AFNIC, expressing a sincere thank you and promise.

"You are the innovators that push the envelope and reestablish the cyber baseline every day. You make history every day for the Air Force. You enable the Air Force; and for that I thank you," she said. "I promise my steadfast commitment and my unwavering dedication to you."

AFNIC, a direct reporting unit to Air Force Space Command, is the Air Force's premier organization for Air Force Network integration, cyber simulation, and network standards, architecture and engineering.