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Colonel Kennedy takes command of 552nd MXG

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- "Nothing comes close to this honor," Col. André L. Kennedy said upon taking command of the 552nd Maintenance Group during an Aug. 13 ceremony. "It's an honor and a pleasure to be part of the 552nd."

Colonel Kennedy assumed command of the 552nd MXG from Col. Stella Smith, who has been the commander for the past three years. "You have performed in a first-class fashion," Col. Jay Bickley, commander of the 552nd Air Control Wing, told Colonel Smith.
The change-of-command ceremony was bittersweet, he said. "It's bitter because we have to say goodbye" to a colleague who is retiring, but it's sweet "because we're welcoming a new team member."

"It's outstanding to be back home," Colonel Kennedy told the scores of officers, enlisted personnel, family members and friends who assembled in an AWACS hangar for the event. The colonel previously spent five years at Tinker (June 2002 - July 2007) with the 552 ACW, including two years as an AWACS squadron commander and one year as deputy commander of the 552nd MXG.

For the past two years he commanded the 49th Maintenance Group at Holloman AFB, N.M. His aircraft maintenance experience includes the E-3, F-15, F-16, A-10, C-130, F-22, plus MQ-1 and MQ-9 drones. Additionally, he has logistics acquisition experience with the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II.

Colonel Kennedy was commissioned in the Air Force in 1988. Afterward, he attended the Maintenance Officer Training School at Chanute AFB, Ill.

He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering at South Carolina State University, a master's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix, and a master's in strategic studies at the Air War College, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

The colonel was reared in a military family: his father served in the Air Force. In addition, his daughter and son-in-law serve in the Army.