Friday, October 3, 2008

TOP STORY>>Host base transfer ceremony held Wednesday

By Staff Sgt. Juan Torres
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The host base transfer ceremony took place Wednesday as the 19th Airlift Wing under Air Mobility Command accepted operational control of Little Rock Air Force Base from the 314th Airlift Wing under Air Education and Training Command.

The ceremony began with the presentation of an Outstanding Unit Award to the 314th Airlift Wing and the 314th Airlift Wing’s change of command presided over by Maj. Gen. Gregory A. Feest, 19th Air Force commander.

“Since the 1970s, the 314th Airlift Wing and the Jacksonville community have played a significant role in providing America’s forces with the world’s best airlift support,” said General Feest. “Today marks another great milestone in the rich history of Little Rock Air Force Base.”

Col. Charles Hyde, former chief, Distribution Division, Directorate of Logistics, J-4, the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, assumed command of the 314th Airlift Wing from Brig. Gen Rowayne A. Schatz, Jr., while Col. Mark Vlahos will remain 314th Airlift Wing vice commander. Chief Master Sgt. Richard Turcotte replaced Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Brinkley as the 314th Airlift Wing Command chief. Chief Brinkley became 19th Airlift Wing command chief.

“Despite all the changes formalized by today’s ceremonies, there are a few things that are not going to change,” said Colonel Hyde. “Our mission of training the world’s best C-130 and C-21 aircrew to fly, fight and win.”

“The success of combat airlift in current and future wars is dependent on the strength and professionalism of our instructors and the world’s best maintainers and the host wing that support them. We will remain focused on our mission and people to produce the foundation of combat airlift capability for our nation,” he said. “It is an honor and a privilege to serve our great nation and command the 314th Airlift Wing.”

Later in the ceremony the 463rd Airlift Group was deactivated and absorbed into the 19th Airlift Wing as Maj. Gen. Winfield W. Scott, III noted the significance of the 19th Ailrift Wing’s activation.

“Today marks another great chapter for Little Rock. The activation of the 19th Airlift Wing is one of the most significant events in the C-130 community and in AMC. As its single C-130 mobility wing in the Air Force, the 19th Airlift Wing marks a new beginning in active associates in leading our total force construct,” General Scott said. “The 19th has a proud lineage that we are proud to continue today. I can’t think of anything better than to continue this story by putting combat airlift into its heritage.”

Finally, Brig. Gen. Rowayne A. Schatz, Jr. assumed command of the 19th AW and Col. James Johnson became the 19th Airlift Wing vice commander. In his speech, General Schatz recognized the tradition of the 19th Airlift Wing and expressed his confidence in the capabilities of the incoming 19th Airlift Wing team.

“The 19th Airlift Wing has a long history and tradition of courage and honor and I assure everyone that the outstanding Team Little Rock Airmen from the 314th Airlift Wing and 463rd AG who constitute the 19th Airlift Wing today will embrace and continue to add to that heritage of excellence,” he said. “Kim and I look forward to building our new team and serving our great nation alongside you.”

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