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JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, Washington, D.C. -- After serving in the Air Force for nearly 34 years, Lt. Gen. Richard "Dick" Newton III retired in a ceremony here April 27.

Newton had served as the Air Force's assistant vice chief of staff since December 2010. With his retirement, Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc is the new assistant vice chief of staff, overseeing the administration and organization of the Air Staff at the Pentagon.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz presided over Newton's retirement ceremony, where more than 200 current and former defense leaders, active and retired military members, and civic leaders attended.

Schwartz presented Newton with the Distinguished Service Medal for his military service, and highlighted Newton's accomplishments during remarks at the ceremony.

"Dick Newton has exemplified effective leadership and has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments," Schwartz said. "He has made enduring contributions to the betterment of our Air Force, and to the security of our Nation."

During his last two assignments, one as the Air Force's deputy chief of staff for manpower and personnel and the other as assistant vice chief of staff, Newton oversaw the establishment of Air Force Global Strike Command and 24th Air Force; several Air Force force-shaping initiatives; repeal of the law commonly known as "Don't Ask-Don't Tell;" and the development of the new Defense Strategic Guidance as the Air Force lead in that effort.

Newton served as the first squadron commander of the 393rd Bomb Squadron, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., from 1993 to 1995. He also commanded the 28th Operations Group, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., and the 5th Bomb Wing, Minot Air Force Base, N.D.

During Newton's remarks, he highlighted the professionalism and dedication of America's Airmen, stating "there is nothing that they won't do for this nation."

Newton is a 1978 Air Force Academy graduate, and some of his former classmates attended the ceremony.

"My classmates are part of an Air Force team doing something vitally important for our nation--seeking to preserve our way of life and our strength," Newton said.

After the academy, Newton went on to accumulate more than 2,900 flight hours as a command pilot in the T-38 Talon, B-2 Spirit, B-1 Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress.

In closing, Newton reflected on his service and that of those he worked with throughout his career.

"All of us--those in uniform, Air Force civilians and family members--serve in an extraordinary cause together," Newton said.