RAPID CITY, S.D. — Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota has a new commander.

Col. Gentry Boswell took the reins from Col. Kevin Kennedy during a change-of-command ceremony Thursday.

Boswell comes from the Pentagon, where he was director of irregular warfare operations. He's a former vice commander of Ellsworth's 28th Bomb Wing and said he's spent about a third of his 24-year military career at the base.

"Anytime you get a chance to command and lead in the military, it's a privilege, so getting the opportunity to come back and do that is great," he said. "It's something we all aspire to as military leaders. Getting to do it here at Ellsworth and in the Black Hills, it's just a blessing."

Boswell will lead one of two B-1B bomber bases in the Air Force's Air Combat Command. Ellsworth also is home to the 432nd Attack Squadron, which flies remotely piloted MQ-9 drone aircraft from the base that is the Rapid City region's largest employer.

Kennedy served as Ellsworth commander for two years. He's moving on to the Pentagon as director of electronic and cyberspace warfare.

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