The commander of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is being reassigned to the Pentagon, this upcoming summer.
Col. John A. Cherrey, who has led both the 355 Fighter Wing and installation since June 2010, will be going to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. in June to work a staff job at Headquarters Air Force, A5, Plans and Requirements.Â This branch of the Air Staff focuses on evaluating future strategies and operational concepts across the Air Force spectrum. Colonel Cherreyâ€™s Pentagon tour is expected to last 2 years.
â€œLeading the men and women of the 355th Fighter Wing has been an incredible honor, theyâ€™ve accomplished so much both here and deployedâ€ said Colonel Cherrey.Â â€œThe support base and its Airmen receives from the community is world class.Â I will greatly miss Davis-Monthan and Tucson area and look forward to getting back someday soon.â€
He will be replaced by Col. Kevin E. Blanchard, who is currently serving in Afghanistan as the vice wing commander of the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing at Kandahar Airfield.
A relinquish of command ceremony for Colonel Cherrey is scheduled to take place in June, and an assumption of command ceremony is scheduled for Blanchard in August.
While at Davis-Monthan, Colonel Cherreyâ€™s most notable accomplishments include leading the base through a successful Operational Readiness Inspection, hosting Air Combat Commandâ€™s largest flying hour program with 24,300 flying hours, and culminating his time here with DMâ€™s selection as the Commander-In-Chiefâ€™s Annual Award for Installation Excellence in March 2012.
Colonel Blanchard has previously been stationed in Tucson twice during his career, this first time between 2001 and 2004 as an A-10C pilot.Â During his second tour from 2007 to 2010, he held a number of command staff jobs at both the squadron and wing level.
Colonel Blanchard is a command pilot with more than 2,400 hours.