Commentary

November 8, 2013

From the greenery of Virginia to the desert: 162nd FW welcomes new leader

Tags:
Staff Sgt. Erich B. Smith
162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Col. Howard “Phil” Purcell speaks to the men and women of the 162nd Fighter Wing as the new wing commander. A former wing vice commander from the 192nd Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va., Purcell assumed command of the 162nd Fighter Wing during a ceremony here Nov. 2 at the Tucson International Airport.

A former vice wing commander from the 192nd Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force Base, Va., assumed command of the 162nd Fighter Wing during a ceremony here Nov. 2.

Col. Howard “Phil” Purcell replaced Brig. Gen. Michael “Mick” McGuire, the now adjutant general for the Arizona National Guard who was among more than 800 wing airmen and special guests attending the event.

“It’s a privilege to be named your commander,” said Purcell. “Arizona guardsmen have a distinguished history of service to this nation, and you continue that tradition of excellence today. You have set a standard of accomplishment that you all should be proud of, and I certainly am.”

Honoring time-tested, military protocol, Brig. Gen. Edward Maxwell, Commander of the Arizona Air National Guard, passed the organizational flag to Purcell, sealing his command position at the nation’s largest F-16 training unit.

“Colonel Purcell should be very proud of what he is about to embark on,” said Maxwell. “Not only is he becoming a commander, but he is also becoming an ambassador as this organization has a large impact worldwide.”

Maxwell added that although the new wing commander was on track for prominent leadership roles in Virginia, Purcell opted for the opportunity to lead guardsmen in southern Arizona.

“I asked him why he wanted this job and his answer was simple: ‘I want to serve – in mission – with the airmen,’” said Maxwell.

In remarks to his new unit, Purcell honored his family unit, including his father and step-father who served in the Air Force and Navy, respectively.

“I lost my dad in Southeast Asia right before I was born. (But) I have built a vision of him from the stories my family told me that has become an irreplaceable compass in my life,” Purcell said. “And when my mom remarried, my second dad taught me the satisfaction of hard work and the importance of family.”

Lt. Col. Kenneth R. Rosson, wing vice commander, said Purcell’s “highly successful military background and dedication to serve” will translate well into facing the new challenges of “solidifying our manpower and protecting the mission we currently execute, all the while working within budgetary constraints.”

“The desert is going to be different than the greenery of Virginia, but it’s a perfect fit for me and I look forward to getting started,” Purcell said.

A combat veteran of Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom with more than 3,000 flying hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-22 Raptor, Purcell arrived in Tucson the day before his assumption of command, ready to enhance and improve upon the elements that make up today’s Air Guard.

“I ask now that we continue to focus on mission and people. We can’t do the first without taking care of the second,” he said. “So work hard, play hard and be accountable. Be loyal, up and down the chain, value our differences of opinion that can make for better decisions and never walk past a mistake, especially your own.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Tree_pict

D-M celebrates Earth Day with Soaring Heights

Soaring Heights Communities, the privatized Lend Lease housing community on Davis-Monthan, celebrated Earth Day with help from The Groundskeeper, and some of the community’s youngest residents. “We’re thrilled to work wit...
 
 

Commissary surcharge helps patrons improve benefit

FORT LEE, Va.– There’s a lot to learn about the commissary surcharge just by considering four new commissaries opened last year on Army, Navy and Air Force installations. Thanks to the surcharge – the 5 percent added to every commissary customer’s receipt – the military communities at Naval Support Activity Annapolis, Md.; Fort Polk, La.;...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force Illustration/Staff Sgt. Miguel Lara III)

Supplements: Awareness is a serious matter

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (AFNS) — Health, fitness and energy are important considerations for all Airmen, but when does pursuing them result in potential and real problems? Supplements, health foods and energy drink...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

German cultural exchange students visit D-M

Buena Vista High school students and cultural exchange students from Redebeul, Germany, toured D-M April 23. The 30 students went to three units learning about the Air Force and the missions here in a hands-on environment. The ...
 
 

Have faith in the Air Force system

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, AZ — Throughout our Air Force careers, we have all received extensive training covering the Air Force core values — integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. We talk about them on a daily basis in one capacity or another using them as buzz words to drive our point...
 
 
DT_pict7

48th RQS trains for the real deal

While many Airmen from D-M were finishing up their day, some Pararescuemen were beginning theirs, on the evening of April 14. The 48th Rescue Squadron conducted a pre-deployment training exercise to teach, train and test Airmen...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin