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The Grand Slam Wing welcomes its newest leaders

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Zachary Foster
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Public Affairs

On June 10, 2024, the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing ceremoniously introduced its next cycle of leaders.

During the wing change of command ceremony, Brig. Gen. Doug Jackson relinquished command to Brig. Gen. Richard Dickens, passing the roles and responsibilities of command to the next generation of Grand Slam leadership.

Dickens outlined goals for the wing for each Airman to continue to "work hard, work smart, and work together" during his introductory speech.
"I recognize that leading this wing is a privilege," said Dickens. "My goal as a commander is to enable your ability to carry out your mission and then get out of the way."

In addition to welcoming Dickens, the wing recently introduced two highly accomplished leaders: Col. Josh "Vanna" Ehmen and Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Murphy, who now serve as the 379th AEW's new deputy commander and command chief, respectively. Ehmen and Murphy bring a wealth of expertise drawn from their previous service in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Originally a C-17 Globemaster III pilot, Ehmen flew numerous sorties in support of the Global War on Terrorism during the early 2000s, participating in both Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

As the new deputy commander returns to CENTCOM, he advises Airmen to "fully immerse yourself in the 379th AEW's mission, vision, and priorities. Get out and learn how your fellow Airmen, allies, and partners contribute."

Murphy joins the Grand Slam Wing from his previous position as the command chief of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, where he gained invaluable experience and insights into the unique challenges and demands of deployed life. This background has equipped him with a finely tuned understanding of the roles and responsibilities essential for effective leadership in a deployed environment.

"Our wing has continued to remain relevant and dependent upon our nation for decades and we all get to continue to be a part of this historic lineage each and every day we get to serve here," said Murphy. "I am extremely excited that I was afforded the opportunity to serve our great wing and mission as the command chief, and it is an opportunity that I take very seriously. Remember, opportunities don't go away, they just go to someone else. What opportunities are you taking advantage of and which ones are you not?"

The three-member leadership team commits to making a significant impact during their tenure at the helm of the 379th AEW. Recognizing their limited time to influence change, they are committed to maximizing their efforts and ensuring every decision contributes to the wing's success.

Embracing the wing's rich, combat-proven heritage, they draw inspiration from its storied past, honoring the achievements and sacrifices of those who served before them.

"They call us the Grand Slam Wing for a reason," Dickens concluded. "That saying was born in combat a little over 80 years ago. Keep swinging for the fences, and let's get to it!"