Wednesday, July 27, 2011
From Burma to Bagram: Flying Tigers still "give 'em the gun"
U.S. Air Force Col. Billy Thompson, 23rd Wing commander, passes the guidon to Lt. Col. Ronald Stuewe Jr., incoming 23rd Fighter Group commander (right), during a change of command ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., July 26, 2011. Prior to assuming command of the group, Stuewe served as the 81st Fighter Squadron commander at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Paul Francis) Hi-res
by Airman 1st Class Jarrod Grammel
23rd Wing Public Affairs
7/26/2011 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The guidon of the 23rd Fighter Group was passed to Lt. Col. Ronald Stuewe Jr. July 26, 2011. Col. Skip Hinman relinquished command of the unit after 26 months as commander.
Col. Billy Thompson, 23rd Wing commander, presided over the ceremony and presented Hinman with the Legion of Merit decoration for his service during the past 26 months.
"It has been the greatest honor of my military career to serve the fine men and women of the 23rd FG as their commander," said Hinman. "We have endeavored over the last two years to establish the 23rd FG as the operational center of excellence for the deployment and employment of A-10C Thunderbolt II combat power.
"As I reflect on the last two years I am overwhelmed by what you have accomplished," he added.
Stuewe, whose last assignment was as a student at the NATO Defense College in Rome, said he is glad to be the new commander of the 23rd FG.
"I greatly look forward to working with the men and women of the 23rd FG as they write the next chapter in the story, history and legacy of the legendary Flying Tigers," said Stuewe.
"After living abroad for the last five years I am excited to be back home, and I am exceptionally excited to be back in such a tremendously supportive and warm local community here in Valdosta," he added.
The 23rd FG traces its roots back to the 23rd Pursuit Group, constituted at Langley Field, Va. Dec. 17, 1941. The Group was deactivated and reactivated several times before becoming the 23rd WG at Pope Air Force Base, N.C. Then in 2007, the 23rd FG was relocated to Moody Air Force Base.
"There are few organizations in our Air Force with the illustrious history of the 23rd FG," said Thompson. "There is no organization more respected by its allies or more feared by its enemies than the Flying Tigers."
Since the 23rd FG was moved to Moody, it has deployed numerous times in support of operations in Afghanistan.
"Downrange, the incredible skill of Hinman's warriors resulted in them being the most sought after close air support asset in the world," said Thompson.
"You personally made a positive difference every day of your command in the lives of not only your Airmen and families but the lives of soldiers, sailors, Airmen, Marines, coalition partners, civilians caught in the chaos of war, our Air Force and our nation," he added. "You have definitely continued the legacy."
The 23rd FG celebrates 70 years of combat excellence this year. As Stuewe assumes command and Hinman says goodbye to this legendary unit, there are members of the 23rd FG who were not at the ceremony. These Airmen are deployed, conducting operations in Afghanistan.
From the original pilots who flew the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk's to the rugged A-10's, the Flying Tigers have painted the distinctive shark teeth on the front of their planes. As long as they are flying missions, enemies and allies know and recognize this unit and give them the respect they deserve.
U.S. Air Force Col. Billy Thompson, 23rd Wing commander, talks about the mission of the 23rd Fighter Group during the 23rd FG change of command ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., July 26, 2011. The 23rd FG is the largest combat-coded A-10 fighter organization in the Air Force, consisting of two combat-ready A-10C squadrons and an operations support squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stephanie Mancha) Hi-res
U.S. Air Force Col. Skip Hinman, Outgoing 23rd Fighter Group commander (right), receives the Legion of Merit award from Col. Billy Thompson, 23rd Wing commander, during a change of command ceremony at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., July 26, 2011. Hinman earned the award for his leadership of the group. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Paul Francis) Hi-res
Official U.S. Air Force online biography of Lieutenant Colonel Ronald F. Stuewe, Jr.
Lieutenant Colonel Ronald F. Stuewe, Jr. commands the 23rd Fighter Group, "Flying Tigers", Moody AFB, Georgia. He directs the flying and support operations of the largest A-10 operational fighter group consisting of two combat-ready A-10C Thunderbolt II squadrons and an operations support squadron--the 74th and 75th Fighter Squadrons and 23rd Operations Support Squadron.
Lieutenant Colonel Stuewe earned a commission and Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1993. In 2006 he earned a Master of Science degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Colonel Stuewe's experience includes tours as a Battalion air liaison officer, forward air controller, A/OA-10 weapons and tactics officer, flight commander, as well as a tour as an A-10 instructor at the U.S. Air Force Weapons School. His distinctive accomplishments include: UPT distinguished graduate, FTU top graduate and top gun, A-10 weapons instructor course top flying and academic awards, SOS squadron top graduate and three top A-10 instructor awards at USAFWS. Colonel Stuewe has flown in support of Operations Southern Watch, Allied Force and Enduring Freedom.
Lieutenant Colonel Stuewe is married to the former Marcie Douglas of Sacramento, California. They have three children: Jake, Kate and Bradley.
1993 Bachelor of science in human factors engineering, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo.
1999 U.S. Air Force weapons school, Nellis AFB, Nev.
2001 Distinguished graduate squadron officer's school, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.
2004 Air Command and Staff College
2006 Master of Science in defense analysis, special operations and low intensity
conflict, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
2009 Air War College
2011 NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy
1. January 1994 - January 1995, student, undergraduate pilot training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
2. January 1995 - July 1995, student, lead-in fighter training, Columbus AFB, Miss.
3. July 1995 - December 1995, student, A-10 FTU, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
4. December 1995 - July 1996, A-10 pilot, scheduler, 55th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, S.C.
5. July 1996 - July 1999, A/OA-10 instructor pilot, chief of standardization and evaluation, Battalion air liaison officer, 74th Fighter Squadron, Pope AFB, N.C.
6. July 1999 - December 1999, student, A-10 Division, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, Nellis AFB, Nev.
7. December 1999 - July 2001, weapons officer, Flight Commander, 25th Fighter Squadron, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
8. July 2001 - January 2004, Flight Commander, assistant director of operations, A-10 Division, U.S. Air Force weapons school, Nellis AFB, Nev.
9. January 2004 - December 2004, Chief, flight safety, 57th Wing, Nellis AFB, Nev.
10. December 2004 - July 2006, student, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, Calif.
11. July 2006 - July 2008, Chief of Weapons and Tactics branch, United States Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, Germany
12. July 2008 - May 2009, Director of Operations, 81st Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
13. May 2009 - Dec 2010, Commander, 81st Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem AB, Germany
14. Dec 2010 - July 2011, student, NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy
15. July 2011 - present: Commander, 23rd Fighter Group, Moody AFB, Ga.
Rating: Command pilot
Flight Hours: 3,000, including over 520 combat hours
Aircraft Flown: A-10
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS:
Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device
Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters
Air Medal with seven oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with eleven oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster
Air Force Combat Action Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION:
Second Lieutenant June, 1993
First Lieutenant June, 1995
Captain June, 1997
Major September, 2003
Lieutenant Colonel September, 2007
(Current as of July 2011)
Official U.S. Air Force online biography of Colonel Ellwood P. Hinman
Colonel Ellwood P. "Skip" Hinman IV commands the 23rd Fighter Group, "Flying Tigers", Moody AFB, Georgia. He directs the flying and support operations of the largest A-10 operational fighter group consisting of two combat-ready A-10C squadrons and an operations support squadron--the 74th and 75th Fighter Squadrons and 23rd Operations Support Squadron.
Colonel Hinman graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1988 and completed undergraduate pilot training at Reese AFB, Texas, in 1989. He has earned four master's degrees from Midwestern State University, Air Command and Staff College, the School of Advanced Airpower Studies, and the Marine Corps War College.
Colonel Hinman has commanded a squadron, has served in the office of the Secretary of Defense, and has held numerous positions at the squadron, group, wing, and numbered air force level. He is a command pilot with over 3,000 flying hours in A-10, F-117A, T-38, and T-37 aircraft. Colonel Hinman has participated in several contingency and combat operations to include Operations DESERT STORM, PROVIDE COMFORT, SOUTHERN WATCH, and ALLIED FORCE.
1988 Bachelor of Science, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
1995 Distinguished graduate, Squadron Officer School, Maxwell AFB, AL
1996 Master of Arts, Political Science and Public Administration, Midwestern State University, TX
2000 Master of Military Operational Art and Science, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL
2001 Master of Airpower Art and Science, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Maxwell AFB, AL.
2003 Air War College, by correspondence
2007 Distinguished graduate, Master of Strategic Studies, Marine Corps War College, MCB Quantico, VA
1. July 1988 - September 1989, student, undergraduate pilot training, Reese AFB, TX
2. September 1989 - December 1989, student, lead-in fighter training, Holloman AFB, NM
3. December 1989 - May 1990, student, A-10 upgrade training, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
4. May 1990 - October 1992, A-10 fighter pilot, squadron training officer, and squadron safety officer, 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron, RAF Bentwaters, United Kingdom
5. October 1992 - January 1996, T-37 instructor pilot, squadron executive officer, Check Section instructor pilot, assistant flight commander, and flight commander, 89th Flying Training Squadron, Sheppard AFB, TX
6. January 1996 - July 1999, F-117A instructor pilot, T-38 chase instructor pilot, squadron standardization/evaluation officer, Chief, Low Observable, flight commander, 8th Fighter Squadron, and Chief, Operations Plans, 49th Operations Support Squadron, Holloman AFB, NM
7. July 1999 - June 2000, student, Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB, AL
8. June 2000 - July 2001, student, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Maxwell AFB, AL
9. July 2001 - July 2003, Chief, 7th Air Force Strategy and strategy flight commander, 7th Air Force, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea
10. July 2003 - June 2004, F-117A fighter pilot, T-38 pilot, and Chief of Safety, 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, NM
11. June 2004 - January 2006, Commander, 49th Operations Support Squadron, 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, NM
12. January 2006 - June 2006, Deputy Commander, 49th Maintenance Group, 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman AFB, NM
13. June 2006 - July 2007, student, Marine Corps War College, Marine Corps University, Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA
14. July 2007 - July 2009, Director, Office of Peacekeeping, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy), Coalition, Peacekeeping and Multinational Cooperation, Pentagon, DC
15. July 2009 - Present, Commander, 23rd Fighter Group, 23rd Wing, Moody AFB, GA
Rating: Command Pilot
Flight hours: Over 3,000
Aircraft flown: A-10, F-117A, T-38, and T-37
MAJOR AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Defense Superior Service Medal
Distinguished Flying Cross
Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Aerial Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters
Air Force Commendation Medal
EFFECTIVE DATES OF PROMOTION
Second Lieutenant June 1, 1988
First Lieutenant June 1, 1990
Captain June 1, 1992
Major July 1, 1999
Lieutenant Colonel March 1, 2002
Colonel August 1, 2007
(Current as of September 2009)