The 69th Fighter Squadron welcomed a new commander to Luke Air Force Base during a change-of-command ceremony May 2 in Hanger 999.
Lt. Col. Gerald “Gov” Brown relinquished command to Col. Korey Amundson, former assistant director of operations for the 69th FS. The ceremony was presided over by Col. Gregory Jones, 944th Operations Group commander.
“There will be a lot going on in the near future,” Jones said. “It will be a dynamic, challenging time but a chance to help shape the future for the 69th Fighter Squadron, 944th Fighter Wing, and the 56th Fighter Wing. I’m confident Colonel Amundson will do a great job.”
As commander of the 69th FS, Amundson is now responsible for 55 members of the U.S. Air Force Reserve’s most experienced F-16 Fighting Falcon squadron.
“Gov, you leave me a squadron running smoothly on all 12 cylinders,” Amundson said. “I and the rest of the Werewolves cannot thank you enough,” Amundson said. “So as the next guy to carry the torch, I say bring on the challenge.”
Amundson was commissioned in 1994 from the U.S. Air Force Academy and is a command pilot with 2,200 hours in the F-16, including 100 combat hours. He has held positions that include F-16 instructor pilot, flight commander and assistant director of operations. Amundson’s flying experience includes deployments in support of Operation Southern Watch, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and temporary duty in Poland helping stand up the country’s first combat deployable F-16 squadron.
“All you Wolves standing out there have flown admirably throughout your careers, teaching the right mix of aggressiveness and restraint,” Amundson said. “The mere fact you’re standing out there is proof of that. Soon, 144 of the world’s newest fighter aircraft, the F-35 Lightning II, will be filling the voids on our ramp. As reservists here, we’ve seen our share of challenges, but when caught up in the moment, perspective tells us it will all work out. We bring that perspective to the fight because that’s what’s expected of us, and that’s what I plan to deliver.”
The future holds changes and challenges, said Col. Kurt Gallegos, 944th Fighter Wing commander.
“I am confident Colonel Amundson will overcome and help the wing’s success,” he said. “I am eager for him to take command of the squadron during these exciting times.”
The 69th FS provides fully qualified, combat ready, U. S. Air Force Reserve Command F-16 instructor pilots to support all aspects of the 56th Fighter Wing formal course training, as well as supporting the contingency deployment needs of the Combat Air Forces. Luke AFB trains 90 percent of all combat Air Force F-16 pilots and 100 percent of all Air Force F-16 crew chiefs.