By Sgt. Kimberly MenziesAugust 8, 2016
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii- The 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command said farewell to Brig. Gen. Eric L. Sanchez, the outgoing commander of the 94th AAMDC, and simultaneously received Brig. Gen. Sean A. Gainey, its incoming commander, during a change of command ceremony, Aug. 5, 2016, at the historic Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
U.S. Army Gen. Robert Brown, the commander of the U.S. Army Pacific, hosted the ceremony.
"I am honored to be able to officiate and participate in this ceremony between two great general officers," said Brown.
The event included honest praise and heartfelt well wishes to the Sanchez family, and a warm welcome to Brig. Gen. Gainey from both Brown and Gen. Terrance O'Shaughnessy, the commander of the Pacific Air Forces.
"The 94th AAMDC has the largest reach of a [theater enabling] command in the world," explained Brown. "They span all the way from Guam to the Republic of Korea and have such a talented team, it would take someone of Eric Sanchez's caliber to lead them and lead them effectively. That is exactly what he has done."
The position of the commanding general of the 94th AAMDC requires a leader to perform three critical roles: deputy area air defense commander, senior air defense commander and theater Army air and missile defense coordinator.
"I can tell you with great confidence, not only did Eric rise to the challenge, he has postured the unit for increased responsibility," said Brown.
Gen. Brown advised Brig. Gen. Gainey to hang on tight because the Soldiers of the 94th AAMDC are motivated and are doing amazing things.
The roles performed by the 94th AAMDC commander demonstrate the proficiency of the unit as the experts in air missile defense within the Indo- Asia Pacific area of responsibility.
As the integrator of all missile defense systems within the Indo- Asia Pacific area of responsibility, the 94th AAMDC headquarters' move to the Pacific Air Forces headquarters on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam ensured a more unified working relationship with the U.S. Air Force.
"We don't just fight together, we live together, we work together, we play together and we are seamlessly integrated in all that we do, and it is really irrelevant what uniform we are wearing," expressed O'Shaughnessy.
"It is a testament to the great strength of the Army on how deep the bench is that we can have the highest caliber leaders to select from in this complex world we're in; it is critical we get the best leaders," said Brown. "Sean is definitely the right guy for this mission."
During the ceremony, Gainey thanked the Sanchez family for helping set him up for future 94th AAMDC successes.
"Our integration into the community has been amazing and it started with Eric and Teresa," shared Gainey. "Thank you both for the first class reception into the command. We look forward to continuing to build on the great initiatives you started."
Sanchez will be returning home to assume command of White Sands Missile Range located in the Tularosa Basin of south-central New Mexico.
Gainey's previous assignment was as the deputy commanding general for the United States Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox, Ky.