By 1st Lt. Jessica Adams
2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
In this PCS season at Barksdale, 18 changes of command span the summer months, to include turn over in 12 squadrons and three groups, as well as the 608th Air Operations Center, the wing itself and even the 8th Air Force.
Before they leave however, a handful of commanders have taken a moment to pass on some parting reflections. The Air Force, and specifically the 2nd Bomb Wing, depends upon this ability to retain acquired wisdom so as to continue performing the mission effectively and to build off of lessons learned.
“My biggest piece of advice,” said Lt. Col. Jeremy Alexander, previous 26th Operational Weather Squadron commander, “is to know and be yourself. Know your leadership style and your strengths and weaknesses, then rely on the team around you to complement what you bring to the table. After that, just be who you are.”
Yet there exists in every job, a pressure to look around, behind, or above for a play-by-play of how one should act.
“It will be tempting to try to take on some aspect of the style of your predecessor, your peers, your mentors, or your boss,” Alexander continued. “But you will make it harder on yourself if you try to be someone you are not.”
Empowering Airmen to be themselves has enabled and fostered a spirit of innovation within the Air Force and the 2nd BW.
“I’ve been truly amazed at what our Airmen are able to accomplish despite lacking adequate resources and manpower,” said Col. Craig Harding, previous 2nd Mission Support Group commander. “Our Airmen are able to find solutions and make what they do seem simple.”
Airmen, the men and women serving our country daily, are the military’s strongest asset. Knowing one’s Airmen is an essential part of being able to both lead and follow effectively.
“I strongly encourage commanders to get out from behind their desks and spend time with their Airmen. More importantly, commanders need to get their hands dirty doing the work we ask Airmen to do daily. When you learn and understand the challenges they have, a commander is that much more capable of being a stronger advocate for their Airmen,” Harding continued.
Ultimately, the purpose of each individual Airman is to defend our country, and this purpose is often best seen while downrange.
“The highlight of my command was deploying to multiple locations around the world with my Airmen,” said Lt. Col. Jason Horton, previous 96th Bomb Squadron commander. “I will always be impacted by the memory of working closely with them and observing the awesome things they do every day to deliver airpower.”
Remaining CoC Ceremonies
Squadron: 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (2 AMXS)
Outgoing Commander: Lt. Col. Michael Hammack
New Commander: Lt. Col. Jeffrey Anderson
Officiating Officer: Col. David Carlson, 2 MXG/CC
CoC Date/Time: July 15 / 10 a.m.
Location: Hoban Hall
POC: 2nd Lt. Yanzhi Zhuo/456-3195
Squadron: 2nd Mission Support Group (2 MSG)
Outgoing Commander: Col. Craig Harding
Incoming Commander: Lt. Col. DeDe Halfhill
Officiating Officer: Col. Ty Neuman, 2 BW/CC
CoC Date/Time: July 19 / 10 a.m.
POC/DSN: Lt. Josh Kane/456-2227
Squadron: 2nd Medical Group (2 MDG)
Outgoing Commander: Col. (Dr.) Ender Ozgul
Incoming Commander: Col. Robert S. Kent
Officiating Officer: Col. Ty W. Neuman
CoC Date/Time: July 22 / 8:30 a.m.
Location: Hoban Hall
POC/DSN: Capt. Marc A. Patience/456-6600
Squadron: 2nd Dental Squadron (2 DS)
Outgoing Commander: Col. (Dr.) Thaddeus Phillips
Incoming Commander: Col. Sheryl Kane
Officiating Officer: Col. Robert Kent
CoC Date/Time: Jul 29 / 10 a.m.
Location: Buff Event Center – Area 52
POC/DSN: Tech. Sgt. Tiffany Peeples & Staff Sgt. Jose TorresArocoho