Sunday, July 17, 2011

Returning Airman saddles up as new commander

by Senior Master Sgt. Stuart Camp
51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

7/15/2011 - OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 51st Fighter Wing welcomed its 62nd commander July 15, 2011, in the phase hangar off the Osan Air Base flightline.

Col. Patrick McKenzie reported to Osan for his second tour, fresh from an assignment at the Pentagon, to take charge from out-going commander Col. Patrick Malackowski.

"The mission does not change," McKenzie said in his remarks during the ceremony. "We will remain deftly focused on the full spectrum of mission and provide the defense of the Republic of Korea."

The new commander is no stranger to Osan and its mission. He was a flight commander and instructor pilot with the 36th Fighter Squadron between May 1994 and July 1996.

"I demand that you remain confident and capable in the conduct of your craft and that you remain fiercely disciplined in the manner in what you execute," McKenzie said. "I am thrilled to be back at Osan and back in the 51st FW."

The commander is responsible for the wing's mission to plan, support and execute military operations - counter air, interdiction, close air support and inter-theater airlift. He oversees operations of F-16 and A-10 fighter squadrons and the support of five tenant units, and more than 45 geographically separated units throughout the Korean peninsula.

Malackowski moves up to vice commander of 13th Air Force, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

McKenzie comes to Osan from a post in the Secretary of the Air Force Legislative Liaison Directorate, Washington, D.C. He was responsible for liaison between the Air Force and Congress for authorization of all Air Force weapons systems programs and associated program budget requests.

Col. Patrick T. McKenzie, 51st Fighter Wing commander, takes the guidon from to Lt. Gen. Jeffery A. Remington, 7th Air Force commander, during a change of command ceremony . Col. McKenzie previously served at the Pentagon as the Secretary of the Air Force Legislative Liaison Directorate, weapons division chief. (U.S. Air Force Photos by Senior Airman Adam Gant)


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