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Red Tails welcome new 332nd AEW Commander

  • Published
  • By Maj. William Mojica
  • 332 AEW

U.S. Joint and Coalition service members gathered to welcome the new commander of the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing during a change of command June 20 in Southwest Asia.

Brig. Gen. Mark Slocum assumed command of the wing from Brig. Gen. David Iverson during a ceremony officiated by Maj. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force-Levant commander.

Grynkewich expressed his excitement for the Airmen of the wing as he welcomed Slocum to his new position.

“To me it just seems right that you now take the reins of the 332nd, a wing with a rich World War II history, and lead the continued efforts of such a vital organization and mission today,” Grynkewich said. “You’re the right officer to lead this wing and I’m tremendously excited for you and even more excited for the Airmen that you’ll soon command.”

Addressing the wing for the first time, Slocum made sure to thank the Red Tails for their service to their Nation.

“To the mighty warriors of the Red Tails team, thank you,” Slocum said. “Thanks for saying yes! Coming over here, leaving your families to do what our Nation needs us to do is absolutely phenomenal. This is tough business. This is going to be a great ride [and] we’re going to take care of each other along the way. So let’s get to work!”

During his remarks, Grynkewich also highlighted the heritage of the 332 AEW and thanked Iverson for continuing the wing’s rich legacy.

“The 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing has a very long and proud history going all the way back to its roots as the 332nd Fighter Group in World War II of Tuskegee Airmen fame,” Grynkewich said. “Whether you work in the FSS or on the flightline, whether you’re from the clinic or work in this KSPAN, you and your team should be very proud of all you’ve done last year under General Iverson.”

Before relinquishing command, Iverson spoke to the wing one last time thanking them for their inspiration and highlighting their accomplishments.

“It’s been a fantastic year,” Iverson said. “You guys inspire me every single day and you make me better. You truly have made this the best year, professionally, of my life. It doesn’t matter [if you are] active, guard, reserve, you would come in here, hit the ground, form teams, and you guys crushed it. I cannot thank you enough.”