Team Andersen welcomes new CC, Brig. Gen. Philip Ruhlman Published Sept. 2, 2008 By Senior Airman Shane Dunaway 36th Wing Public Affairs ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- Brigadier Gen. Doug Owens relinquished command of the 36th Wing to Brig. Gen. Philip Ruhlman during a change of command ceremony at Hangar One here Sept. 2. Lt. Gen. Chip Utterback, the commander of 13th Air Force, Honolulu, presided over the ceremony. "With Brig. Gen. Doug Owens out front, this wing has been focused, it's been aggressive, it's had vision, it's been taking care of business and it has been well-led," General Utterback said. During his time here, General Owens oversaw growth at Andersen unparalleled since its days as a bomber platform for WW II and Vietnam. Among the changes he led were the standup of the 36th Operations Group as a permanent rather than expeditionary unit, the move of the 554th RED HORSE combat engineer Squadron from Osan Air Base, Korea, and the reactivation of the 644th Combat Communications Squadron. The latter two units, part of the wing's Contingency Response Group, known for both rapid response combat support capabilities and humanitarian missions, complemented growth at the adjacent Northwest Field. The historical but dormant airfield is being developed into a state-of-the-art combat training and facility. Owens also made several quality of life improvements around the wing, most notably the revitalization of Tarague Beach. During his time here, he also supported construction of the first new base exchange in 50 years, a $20 million environmental cleanup at Urunao and construction of a hangar to house the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. The first Global Hawks are scheduled to arrive in Spring of 2009. In addition to bomber rotations begun two years prior to his arrival, the outgoing commander set the stage for an increase in fighter rotations, culminating in the first of what will be presumably be periodic F-22 Raptor deployments. "This has been an extraordinary time for Teresa and I - a time that we will forever remember with the mixed emotions of the fondness of great friends that we've made, the satisfaction and elation for the great accomplishments of the wing, and sorrow for the loss of friends and colleagues who gave their life under my command," Owens said. General Owens is slated to become the 13th Air Force vice commander at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. General Ruhlman, a command fighter pilot, led his first wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. He arrived here from his position as the Chief of Staff of the Joint Warfare Centre, Supreme Allied Command Transformation in Stavanger, Norway. General Ruhlman is no stranger to the Pacific, however, having served in both Korea and Hawaii. "I am absolutely thrilled for this opportunity to lead this outstanding wing at Andersen whose heritage dates back over 60 years when 12 squadrons of B-29s thundered off this runway day, after day, after day," General Ruhlman said. "That heritage of selfless service and sacrifice by those Airmen has continued to live on by you Airmen of the 36th Wing, and you have followed that across the last six decades."