Two 552nd ACW squadrons welcome new commanders
By Kenneth LaFayette, Tinker Public Affairs
/ Published December 09, 2010
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla --
In two separate and unique ceremonies Oct. 20, the 552nd Air Control Wing welcomed two new commanders.
In the first ceremony, Lt. Col. Peter Mykytyn assumed command of the 965th Airborne Air Control Squadron.
Col. Gregory Roberts, 552nd Operations Group commander, presided over the ceremony and had nothing but praises for his new squadron commander,
"Colonel Mykytyn brings breadth and depth to the squadron and consistently proves himself," said Colonel Roberts. "I have the upmost confidence that Colonel Mykytyn will lead this squadron to higher heights."
Colonel Mykytyn was grateful about the squadron's unchanging professionalism, excellence, and dedication to accomplishing the mission.
"Accomplishing the mission is one thing that has not changed, whether that mission was operating over the skies of Southwest Asia or protecting our nation's boarders against those that wish to do us harm, you have always answered the call and made the sacrifice," said Colonel Mykytyn.
Colonel Mykytyn spoke about the unique challenges to AWACS families. "We're on the road longer than most, we fly incredibly long hours and are sometimes awakened in the middle of the night to report to duty and go off to far-away places. Families are crucial to accomplishing this mission and I am truly grateful for their support and sacrifices."
"My wife and I are very proud to be joining your squadron. We look forward to the next couple of years with great anticipation and incredible excitement. We look forward to meeting the challenges head on and sharing in the successes with you, all in an effort to make this the greatest combat squadron in the United States Air Force."
In another ceremony later that day, the 960th Airborne Air Control Squadron publically bid farewell to Lt. Col. Paul Oldham and welcomed Lt. Col. Felix Montero.
Colonel Montero served as director of operations in the 963rd Airborne Air Control Squadron and was responsible for leading, directing and managing operations for worldwide employment of over 300 personnel and six E-3 aircraft valued at $1.9 billion.
Colonel Montero expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to lead the Vikings. He attributed his success to excellent mentorship and lessons given by former wing leaders.
"We had numerous debates, most of which I lost," said Colonel Montero. "But, I gained a greater appreciation of the operational and strategic details of the mission and was very prepared to come back."
"I'm very excited and honored to have this opportunity and hope to live up to the expectations of those who preceded me. God bless America, God bless this wing," said Colonel Montero.
The presiding officer, Colonel Roberts applauded the achievements of his new squadron commander. "Colonel Montero brings to this command and outstanding breadth and depth of command and control in battle management experience. You have my highest confidence in your ability to lead this squadron, build upon the legacy your predecessor has left you and lead this squadron to more outstanding accomplishments in the future."
In his last speech to the squadron, Colonel Oldham had only words of appreciation and pride.
"I was proud when I took command and even prouder having watched what you've accomplished. Keep that measure because you're being measured by it and what you accomplished is your legacy right now."
Colonel Oldham moves on to his next assignment where he'll work on the A3 staff at Air Combat Command, Langley AFB, Va.