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Three Change of Command Ceremonies at the 117th Air Refueling Wing

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Farson
  • 117th Air Refueling Wing, Public Affairs

The 117th Air Refueling Wing had three change of command ceremonies during December drill here at Sumpter Smith ANG Base.

The 117th Force Support Squadron and the 117th Mission Support Group change of commands were on December 8 and the 117th Maintenance Group change of command was on December 9.

Maj. Michael Lochte assumed command of the 117 FSS after Lt. Col. Michael Todd relinquished command. Lochte had served as the 117 FSS Director of Personnel since May 2018. Todd had served as the 117 FSS Commander since October 2017.

Todd assumed command of the 117 MSG after Col. Andrew Love relinquished command. Love had served as the 117 MSG Commander since June 2014. He is currently the Senior Executive Officer to the Director of the Air National Guard.

Lt. Col. David Etheredge assumed command of the 117 MXG after Col. Anthony Johnson relinquished command. Etheredge was the previous 117th Operations Support Squadron Commander. Johnson is slated to retire at the end of the month after almost 37 years of service.

“The 117th is once again producing enough awesome talent from within with a lot of experience,” said Col. Scott Grant, 117 ARW Commander. “We are absolutely a better Wing because of the service of Col. Love and Col. Johnson.”

The change of command ceremony is deeply rooted in military history, when organizational flags were used on the battlefield to serve as rallying points and reminders of a soldier’s allegiance to their leader. The three change of command ceremonies allowed members of the 117 ARW to witness the official changes in leadership.