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The 9th AF and AFCENT Split Is Official: The Air Force on Aug. 5 announced the formal separation of 9th Air Force and Air Forces Central, in what services leaders had told Congress will be a temporary split to enable AFCENT to focus exclusively on the on-going operations in Southwest Asia, particularly as things ramp up in Afghanistan. The stateside 9th AF, still based at Shaw AFB, S.C., will continue to provide management oversight for six wings and one direct reporting unit and be led by Maj. Gen. William Holland. AFCENT, which will have about 50 personnel on its headquarters staff and will be forward deployed in the US Central Command area of responsibility, is now led by Lt. Gen. Gilmary Hostage III. According to the Aug. 5 announcement, the service temporarily redesignated 9th AF/AFCENT as AFCENT and activated a new 9th AF.