180th Fighter Wing Holds Change of Command
By Staff Sgt. Shane Hughes, 180thFighter Wing
/ Published August 10, 2016
SWANTON, Ohio -- Col. Kevin V. Doyle assumed command of the 180th Fighter Wing from Col. Craig R. Baker during an official U.S. Air Force change of command ceremony Aug. 7 held in the base hangar.
A change of command ceremony is a military tradition which transfers authority between commanders and announces to all the authority of the incoming commander.
Doyle came to the 180FW from the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Doyle's career spans 32 years and includes service as both an enlisted U.S. Marine and a U.S. Air Force officer. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School Instructor Course, and he has logged more than 3,900 flight hours, including more than 100 combat missions.
"I look forward to the challenges and tasking we're going to face in the future, and expect the same level of success you have achieved over the last two years with Col. Baker," Doyle said. "I know Col. Baker has set the bar high for me to meet and exceed those standards. We're going to keep on that path."
Maj. General Mark E. Bartman, the adjutant general of the Ohio National Guard, presided over the ceremony and spoke about Baker's leadership and dedication to the 180FW Airmen.
"He always wanted to take care of the Airmen," Bartman said of Baker during his remarks. "He wanted to make sure the Airmen had the most opportunity to be the best fighter wing in the United States Air Force."
Wendy Gramza, president of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, spoke about Baker's contributions to the local community. She said Baker lead the effort to create a memorial for the community honoring the lives lost in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. He established a partnership with community leaders to maximize cooperation between the base and surrounding organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, and his leadership and vision made the Toledo air show a reality after more than a decade since the last air show.
"He has left a lasting impression on the community," Gramza said of Baker during her speech. "He stands tall, and he makes all the rest of us stand a little taller too."
While other speakers focused on Baker's accomplishments during his tour as the 180FW commander, Baker focused on the Airmen.
"In a few short moments I will have to utter the words every commander dreads: I relinquish command." Baker said during his farewell speech to his Airmen. "However, what I will never relinquish, what I will never forget is the extreme respect, gratitude and complete awe I have for all of you."
Baker was the first active duty officer to serve as a commander of an ANG wing as part of the total force initiative to integrate the active, guard and reserve components. Baker leaves the 180FW to begin his career at the Pentagon, where he will serve as the Director, Chief of Staff of the Air Force's Strategic Studies Group.