Gen. Lance Smith
About Lance L. Smith
General Lance L. Smith served in the United States Military for 37 years and retired January 2008. Most recently he served as Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia. As Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command, he was responsible for maximizing present and future military capabilities of the United States by leading the transformation of joint forces in the areas of joint training; joint interoperability; and joint innovation and experimentation.
As Combatant Command Authority for Air Combat Command, Fleet Forces Command, U.S. Army Forces Command and Marine Forces Command, he held operational control over almost 1.19 million U.S. military forces in his role as the force provider to the other combatant commanders. As Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Smith led the transformation of NATO’s military structures, forces, capabilities and doctrines to improve interoperability and military effectiveness of the Alliance and its partner nations. He also led individual NATO training development and, in collaboration with Supreme Allied Commander Operations, executed training programs for Coalition forces deploying to Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo.
A native of Virginia and a graduate of Virginia Tech, the general entered the Air Force in 1970 after completing Officer Training School. He has more than 13 years in command during war and peace. He commanded two fighter wings and led two air expeditionary force deployments to Southwest Asia: AEF III and the 4th Air Expeditionary Wing. He served as the Commander of 7th Air Force, Pacific Air Forces; Air Component Commander, ROK and U.S. Combined Forces Command Korea; and Deputy Commander U.S. Forces Korea. The general also served two tours at the Pentagon and was Commandant of the NATO School at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Commandant of the Air War College and Commander of the Air Force Doctrine Center. Prior to his current assignment, he was Deputy Commander, U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida.