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36th Wing Change of Command

  • Published
  • By U.S. Air Force 1st Lt Jade Watkins
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs

The 36th Wing bid farewell to Brig. Gen. Jeremy T. Sloane, and welcomed Brig. Gen. Paul R. Birch during a change of command ceremony June 10, 2022.

Birch assumed command of five groups, 18 squadrons and 22 primary tenant organizations executing U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s Bomber Task Force, Theater Security Packages, Tanker Task Force, contingency response and Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations from the most forward sovereign U.S. Air Force base in the Indo-Pacific Region.

Lt. Gen. David A. Krumm, 11th Air Force commander, presided over the change of command ceremony and transferred the wing’s guidon from Sloane to Birch, symbolizing the passing of responsibility and authority.

During his speech, Krumm thanked Sloane for his exceptional leadership during command and said that his efforts and dedication set the stage for continued success.

“As your remarkable command sadly comes to a close the only ray of light I see is that man[Birch] sitting next to you to take over the helm as we go forward,” said Krumm. “he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that will take the 36th Wing to new levels of excellence.”

As installation commander, Birch is responsible for the well-being of more than 8,000 joint service members, civilian personnel, dependents and contractors on Andersen AFB. Additionally, he supports Department of Defense installation management of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands as the deputy commander of Joint Region Marianas.

“The service members I have met here at the forward edge are creative and innovative thinkers; you have an intellectual curiosity to understand your environment, your capability and the challenges we face,” said Birch. “As I think about all that we will accomplish together because of your ability and dedication, I’m grateful.”

Birch came to the 36th Wing from the Pentagon, Washington D.C., where he served as the Chief of Strategic Planning Integration Division and the Deputy Chief of Staff in Plans and Programs.

Keeping with 36th Wing change of command tradition, Sloane also passed the swagger stick to Birch. Maj. Gen. Charles J. Bondley, Jr., designed the original emblem for the 36th Wing, then known as the 36th Pursuit Group, in 1940 when he was a 1st Lt., and had the emblem officially emblazoned on the swagger stick. The stick signifies strength and the legacy of honor that all Airmen represent and is passed from commander to commander. It has since been a proud tradition that has endured for eighty years, and will continue to do so into the future.

 “As with this beautiful island’s geography, there are some rocky ups and downs before we get to the beautiful beach or stunning view,” said Birch. “but I cannot wait to walk that path with all of you, and I see a vision of unmatched capability and capacity for the 36th Wing, Team Andersen and all of the Indo-Pacific Region.”

Sloane will go on to retire from the U.S. Air Force and will be moving to Alabama with his family.

Editor’s Note: A swagger stick is a short stick or riding crop, like one used in horseback riding, which is usually carried by a uniformed person as a symbol of authority. Maj. Gen. George S. Patton famously carried a swagger stick throughout World War II.

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