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News Release


Release No: 559-96
September 27, 1996


Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman has named Chief Master Sgt. Eric W. Benken to serve as the service's 12th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.

Benken will replace CMSAF David J. Campanale, who will retire November 4 after 26 years of service to the Air Force and the Nation.

"I want to personally thank Chief Campanale for his tireless efforts as an advocate for our enlisted force," Fogleman said. "I'm sure that all of you will join me in bidding him and his wife, Barbara, a fond farewell, and wish them great success in retirement."

Fogleman said selecting a new CMSAF was one of the most difficult decisions he has made in some time, since he is convinced that all of the candidates would have been excellent leaders for our enlisted force.

"Chief Benken is going to join the Air Force senior leadership at what I consider to be an exciting time for our Air Force," Fogleman said. "We are celebrating our 50th Anniversary and we're in the process of defining the Air Force of the future."

Benken, who was born in Cincinnati, entered the Air Force in March 1970. His background is in information management and he has served in operational, maintenance and support units from squadron to major command level.

He has served in the Republics of Taiwan, Korea and Vietnam, and in a joint service assignment at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. Prior to his current appointment with U.S. Air Forces in Europe -- which began in October 1994 -- Benken was the senior enlisted advisor to the commander of Twelfth Air Force at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

Benken has two sons, Brian and Kyle. He and his wife, the former Johnne Ceravolo, have a daughter, Erica.

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