Monday, April 30, 2007

TOP STORY >>463rd welcomes new commander

By Tech. Sgt. Arlo Taylor
314th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Colonel Jeffrey A. Hoffer firmly grasped the 463rd Airlift Group guidon from 18th Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. James Hawkins and took command of the unit at the group’s change of command ceremony April 19.

The 463rd AG is a primary component in the Global War on Terrorism and the Battle for Iraq with crews and aircraft from its seven squadrons performing worldwide airlift missions. The colonel viewed the group’s contributions working with 463rd members while deployed from October 2006-November 2007 as 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group deputy commander, Balad AB, Iraq; and while he was stationed at Little Rock AFB from 1999-2002.

“It’s both an honor and a privilege to lead an Air Force group, especially the 463rd Airlift Group. They definitely live up to the motto Airlift Anywhere, Anytime, Everytime.

“I first saw it when I was stationed here in (Air Education and Training Command) and on the other side of the house and it was driven home to me when I served with you at Balad (Air Base, Iraq),” the colonel said.

The colonel said the he’s proud of the group’s efforts which have been credited with taking nearly 6,000 convoys off Iraqi roads.

“Again and again the great maintainer’s turn the C-130s in a combat environment better than anyone else out there,” Colonel Hoffer said. “The aircrews were selected to fill the most demanding missions. As a team no other airlift mission came close.
“The impact we have made in Iraq and Afghanistan is incredible. While nearly 6,000 convoy vehicles were off the IED ridden highways, you saved countless lives and helped the Iraqis secure their freedom and democracy,” he said.

Colonel Hoffer told group members at the ceremony that their tactical airlift mission is vital and he looks forward to leading them.

“Today is a change in command, but not a change in your mission. The mission is the same today as it was yesterday and the same as it will be tomorrow … to project air power globally through airland, precision air drop aeromedical evacuation in any environment, any weather and from any operating location,” the colonel said. “You’re a truly in a league of your own. I am thrilled to be here and proud to be your new commander.”


Post a Comment