An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

386th AEW change of command: Col. George M. Buch Jr. succeeds Col. Clinton M. Wilson

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Daira Jackson
  • 386 AEW Public Affairs

The 386th Air Expeditionary Wing hosted a change of command ceremony at the base theater July 1, 2022.

This was the final ceremony for the 386th AEW as it shifted from the expeditionary group construct to the Air Staff model.

“I really just wanted to stand up here and say thank you to the Wing,” said Col. Clinton M. Wilson, outgoing commander, 386th AEW. “It's been the best assignment of my career without a doubt.”

During Wilson’s time here, he led over 7,600 joint coalition Total Force personnel as they executed operations in Inherent Resolve, Freedom Sentinel, Allies Refuge, Spartan Shield, Resolute Support Mission, collectively delivering 46,000 plus tons of cargo, 85,000 passengers, conducted 21,000 hours of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, 7,500 sorties and multiple airstrikes. Under Wilson’s command, the Wing showcased its rapid employment capability by organizing over 800 flights in less than 17 days to evacuate 124,000 men, women and children out of Afghanistan.

“You can talk about 124,000—the number doesn't really register until you think about it in a two-week period,” said Maj. Gen. Clark J. Quinn, assistant deputy commander, Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central). “What you also can't capture, and I can't put into words or read off the paper, is it's life changing. People left behind everything—their livelihoods. They just got on an airplane with whatever they could carry. Sometimes all it was, was their child that they were carrying—no clothes, nothing. They left behind their entire life. They got on an airplane and they trusted that they would be taken care of. And those thousands that transited through here were taken care of by Col. Wilson and his team. It's a once in a generation—a once in a lifetime opportunity. And Clint and the Airmen of this wing just nailed it.”

Wilson will be retiring after 24 years and five months of service in the United States Air Force effective November 1, 2022.

Quinn presented the Legion of Merit to Wilson.

Wilson thanked special guests, generals, Kuwait, host nation partners of Kuwait, the U.S. Embassy, coalition partners, friends, family, his staff and the men and women of the 386th AEW.

“George, it's your time,” said Wilson. “You're ready, I've spent some time with your team. They are amazing. You're going to have the best year of your life. And you're going to lead these Airmen well beyond what I had the ability to do. I wish you the best of success.”

During the change of command ceremony, Wilson relinquished command and Col. George M. Buch Jr., incoming commander, assumed command of the 386th AEW.

Buch recognized special guests, directors, colonels, squadron commanders, chiefs, first sergeants, family and friends and individuals who helped him get to this point in his career.

“Command is about relationships,” said Buch. “[Chief and I] will continue to build and cultivate them with the Kuwaiti hosts, our mission partners—in and outside our country—and all our international partners. We will continue to increase our Airmen's deployed quality of life and service so they can execute the mission and make sure they always know their purpose. If a person knows their purpose, feels valued and is taken care of, there are no words for mission success. For me, there is no greater honor to command and lead a wing in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, thank you.”