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380AEW Article

Al Dhafra welcomes new 380 AEW commander

  • Published
  • By Capt. Amanda Farr
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates – Brig. Gen. Lance Pilch took command of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing during a ceremony July 1, 2019, presided by Maj. Gen. Chance Saltzman, U.S. Air Forces Central Command deputy commander.

“My job is to enable you to do yours,” said Pilch. “If you take one thing away, this is it: I trust you. Continue to do what is right, always be professional, and together we’ll accomplish our objectives: deliver airpower, develop relationships,                and defend the region.”

During his opening remarks, the AFCENT deputy highlighted Team ADAB as one of the most diverse combat wings in the Air Force, executing each of the five Air Force core missions. Previously under the command of Brig. Gen. Adrian Spain, the base has seen significant transitions as well as accomplishments in each core mission set.

“The wing has been a crucial element in the fight against terror, directly supporting the physical destruction of ISIS and the fight against the Taliban,” Maj. Gen. Saltzman said. “You continue to be instrumental in the effort to deter Iranian hostilities in the Middle East, specifically with our Gulf partners.”

He added gratitude for Spain’s leadership and the wing’s efforts in the last 365 days and its role in the AFCENT mission.

“You should be extremely proud of your accomplishments leading this incredible group of Airmen,” he said. “Thank you and your family for your faithful and dedicated service.”

Saltzman transitioned to introduce the incoming commander, assuring the men and women of Team ADAB of his confidence in Pilch’s ability to lead the wing.

“The 380th Air Expeditionary Wing will be in great hands and continue to play a decisive role in executing the AFCENT mission,” said Saltzman.

Pilch was most recently the vice commander of 7th Air Force, Air Forces Korea, and the Chief of Staff for Air Component Command at Osan AB, South Korea.

“You come to the AOR with a combination of tactical, joint, and partner nation experience that will serve you well in this job,” said Saltzman. “I personally look forward to working with you this year as we tackle the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.”

As tradition dictates, the 380th AEW guideon passed from Brig. Gen. Adrian Spain, the outgoing commander, to Pilch’s hands, signifying the official change of command.

Pilch took to the podium to thank distinguished visitors, leaders, and the men and women of Team ADAB. He then paused to thank his family – wife, Junko, and daughters, Samantha, Julie, and Presley – who were watching live from video messenger.

“Thanks for the all the support you’ve given me throughout the years,” he said. “I love you, and you rock.”

The new commander commented he’d been observing the work of the men and women of the 380th AEW from afar.

“Keep doing the great work you’re doing,” said Pilch. “I know you’re sprinting, and I’m just starting to build up speed, but I’ll catch up as soon as i can.”

Following this assignment, Spain will be the Director of Plans, Programs, and Analyses, for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa at Ramstein AB, Germany.