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Kendall sworn in as 26th Secretary of the Air Force

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall shakes hands with Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones on arrival for his first day at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall shakes hands with Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones on arrival for his first day at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall speaks with Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond during his first staff meeting with the Department of the Air Force’s service chiefs at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall speaks with Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond during his first staff meeting with the Department of the Air Force’s service chiefs at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones, Anthony Reardon, administrative assistant to the secretary of the Air Force, and other staff members wait for the arrival of Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones, Anthony Reardon, administrative assistant to the secretary of the Air Force, and other staff members wait for the arrival of Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall speaks with staff members on arrival for his first day at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall speaks with staff members on arrival for his first day at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall speaks with Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. and Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones during his first meeting with the Department of the Air Force’s service chiefs at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall speaks with Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr. and Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones during his first meeting with the Department of the Air Force’s service chiefs at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall shakes hands with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., before a meeting with Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones, Brown, and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall shakes hands with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., before a meeting with Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones, Brown, and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond talk prior to a meeting with Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond talk prior to a meeting with Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., July 28, 2021. (U.S. Air Force photo by Eric Dietrich)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) --

Frank Kendall was administratively sworn in July 28 as the 26th Secretary of the Air Force, placing him as the department’s civilian leader responsible for organizing, training, equipping and ensuring the welfare of nearly 700,000 Airmen, Guardians and their families.

He replaces John Roth, who served as the Acting Air Force Secretary for the last six months.

“I am both honored and humbled to serve as the incoming Secretary of the Air Force,” Kendall said, shortly following his swearing in. 

Kendall’s first official day on the job was both brisk and busy.

By mid-afternoon, he had met with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks; Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones; his predecessor Roth; Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr.; and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond.

“With Under Secretary Jones, and alongside Gen. Brown and Gen. Raymond, I will be totally focused on ensuring that our Air and Space Forces can fulfill their missions to defend the nation against our most challenging threats, today and into the future,” Kendall said. “I will do everything I can to strengthen and support the great teams of American Airmen and Guardians who have dedicated themselves to protecting our country.”

In the coming weeks, Kendall will fully define his priorities and focus on posturing both services for strategic competition, modernization and future budget adaptation to address global challenges.

His broad intent for the department was stated during his confirmation hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee, May 25. 

“If confirmed, my priorities would be straightforward and mirror precisely those articulated by Secretary of Defense (Lloyd) Austin as they apply to the Department of the Air Force – taking care of our people, mission performance and building teams,” Kendall said. “Our military is people first and foremost.”

Kendall’s past tenures include Pentagon tactical warfare program director, Strategic Defense Systems assistant deputy undersecretary and most recently, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics and 10 years as an active-duty U.S. Army officer.