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36th Wing holds change of command, welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Marianique Santos
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The 36th Wing guidon was passed from Brig. Gen. John Doucette to Brig. Gen. Steven Garland as a symbolic representation of the transfer of leadership at the 36th Wing's change of command ceremony at Hangar 6, June 26.

During the ceremony General Doucette was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptional meritorious conduct and performance of outstanding services as the commander of the 36th Wing.

The list of the wing's accomplishments under his leadership include the 2011 Unit Compliance Inspection overall excellent rating, the successful Cope North exercise and the multitude of individual and unit awards that the wing has accumulated under his command.

"General Doucette's fingerprints are all over your successes, but you won't hear that from him," said Lt. Gen. Stanley Kresge, 13th Air Force commander and officiating of the ceremony. "He talks only of the Airmen and speaks of them from the heart. That is not only the sign of a great commander, it is the reason he is great."

In his speech after receiving his award, General Doucette proceeded to acknowledge the hard work and support the Airmen demonstrated during his two-year tenure.

"You (General Garland) are taking the finest wing in the United States Air Force," said General Doucette. "These Airmen will work until they drop. They will serve until you tell them to stop. I am glad that we are turning over the finest individuals of the Air Force to you, and I hope you will have as much fun as we had with them."

"Janette and I will leave a warm climate for a very cold climate, but we will warmly remember the friends that we have made here," he continued about him and his wife.

General Doucette also expressed his confidence in General Garland's skills and experience and said that he is handing the command of the 36th Wing to the right person.

"The wing needs you, our region needs you, and I know you will take it forward," said General Doucette, addressing General Garland. "I will tell you that you are the right officer at the right time for this mission."

General Garland has over a thousand combat hours and commanded the 99th Air Base Wing at Nellis Air Force Base previous taking command of Andersen.

"General Garland is a battle-tested Airman," said General Kresge. "He knows how to run a base. He knows airpower. He knows how to serve his Airmen and how to build a team. The fact that we're getting an Airman of his caliber speaks volumes of the Air Force's commitment to this wing and this region."

During the ceremony, the generals made it clear that the Pacific region is an area of activity and importance.

"Our national leadership recognizes the importance of this region, home to nearly half the world's population and many of the largest and rapidly growing economies," said General Kresge. "Our future depends on a stable peaceful and prosperous Asia Pacific. The 36th Wing is the down payment on this strategic shift."

In his speech, General Garland showed his awareness of this theater's role in the global stage and of his responsibilities as the new 36th Wing commander.

"Our job is to provide the President of the United States sovereign options to employ airpower as our nation's focus shifts to the Pacific Rim," said General Garland.

General Garland also expressed his appreciation, enthusiasm and readiness to work with the Airmen.

"General Kresge, I can't thank you enough for the opportunity to command the 36th Wing," he said. "With Airmen like these, and the community partnership that I am seeing here, we will succeed."

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