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386th Air Expeditionary Wing changes command

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Taryn Butler
  • 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
U.S. Air Force Col. Clinton Wilson assumed command of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing from Col. Henry Triplett, July 1.

“A change of command is a momentous event, an opportunity to thank the outgoing commander, get a glimpse at the expectations and vision of a new commander and a chance to relish the impressive accomplishments of the unit they have been trusted to lead,” said Lt. Gen. Gregory Guillot, Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) commander. “For Colonel Triplett, it's been a year of war fighting with significant transitions. I have no doubt that he is proud of the Wing’s accomplishments, and he should be. Meanwhile, Colonel Wilson has been prepared by the Air Force for this command, and I know he eagerly awaits the challenges that are ahead. I wish you the best as you lead the men and women of the 386th AEW as they fly, fight and most importantly, win.”

Prior to assuming command, Wilson served as commander of the 317th Operations Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Wilson is a command pilot who has accumulated more than 3,200 combined flight hours in the T-37 Tweet, and various C-12 Huron, C-130 Hercules and KC-135 Stratotanker models.
“We're here to accomplish a mission and each of you bring unique skill sets that are vitally important to regional and global security,” Wilson said during his introduction to the wing. “For those under my command, I expect you to execute your mission better than anyone else. You're empowered. I trust you. I know you're capable to do what you've been trained to do. Chief Master Sgt. Buck and I are a resource for you to leverage. We're here to help you accomplish your mission and take care of your Airmen. Let's do whatever it takes to win. Let's get after it.”

Over the course of his command, Triplett ensured base operating support integration for Kuwaiti air force, Canada's Joint Task Force Iraq and Operational Support Detachment-Kuwait, the Italian Task Force Air Kuwait, the Polish contingent, the Danish National Support Element and the United Kingdom's MQ-9 fleet and associated personnel. Additionally, Triplett supported the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force, Air Force Special Operations Detachment-Iraq, the Joint Special Operations Support Detachment-Kuwait, providing the coordination and commander intent required to ensure beddown and contingency operations requirements were met.

Triplett enabled over 100 Air Force, Marine, coalition, and Special Operations Command aircraft consisting of 16 different types to execute over 10,000 sorties supporting intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, tactical and strategic airlift, precision strike, close air support, defensive counter air, electronic attack support, and training to support Operations Freedom’s Sentinel, Inherent Resolve, Deliberate Resolve II, Spartan Shield, Phantom Canopy and Phantom Harvest.

“I know this wasn't the deployment you were promised,” Triplett said to the wing during the ceremony. “It wasn't the deployment I was promised either – with COVID, all changing ops, Afghanistan and everything in between. But every single thing you handled with impeccable grace and coordinated it throughout the wing, throughout the coalition. It was amazing to watch what you did day in and day out; you make it look easy.”

After 25 years of service, multiple deployments and numerous relocations, Triplett will be retiring to Illinois.