Col. Douglas Miller relinquished command of the 56th Operations Group to Col. John Hanna during a ceremony held June 29 at Luke Air Force Base.
Hanna joins Team Luke after serving as the director of the Future Operations Center at U.S. Northern Command at Peterson AFB, Colo.
Brig. Gen. JD Harris, 56th Fighter Wing commander, presided over the ceremony and welcomed Hanna.
â€œIâ€™ve received 100-percent positive feedback from everyone I talked to about you,â€ Harris said. â€œSo I know we have the right man here today.â€
Hanna entered the Air Force in 1988, receiving his commission through Officer Training School. He completed undergraduate pilot training in 1990 and has served as an F-16 instructor pilot, operational test pilot, chief of weapons and tactics, and director of operations at a variety of bases in the United States and overseas. He previously commanded the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill AFB, Utah. His combat experience includes deployments to Turkey in support of Operation Northern Watch, and to Joint Base Balad, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Harris addressed the members of the OG.
â€œWith more than 3,400 flight hours, (Colonel Hanna) is a well-rounded leader and ready for group command,â€ Harris said.
After the flag, a symbol of command, was passed from Miller to Hanna, the new commander closed the ceremony by greeting his group and giving his expectations for the future.
â€œI was absolutely thrilled to be chosen to command, not just the largest fighter group in the Air Force but one that has such a large impact on our combat Air Force,â€ Hanna said. â€œFor nearly as long as I have been in the Air Force we have been a nation at war, and in every conflict F-16 pilots have truly made the difference. And with the enormous challenges we face in the Air Force today, the F-16 community will be asked to shoulder much of the burden. That makes our mission here at Luke to train the worldâ€™s greatest pilots and maintainers more important than ever.
â€œIt seems like only yesterday Colonel Miller was standing on this stage (when he took command) hearing the words â€˜lead without fear,â€™â€ Harris said, before the change of command. â€œToday heâ€™s sitting back reflecting on a fabulous two-year command of the largest fighter operation group in the United States Air Force.â€
In the last two years under Millerâ€™s command, the OG has trained 600 pilots, flown more than 45,000 sorties and 56,000 hours.
â€œColonel Miller, two years ago you where given a charge to lead fearlessly,â€ Harris said. â€œAnd that you have done with excellence.â€
Miller heads to Langley AFB, Va., to be chief of inspections at the Air Combat Command Inspector Generalâ€™s Office.