March Field’s Cultural Resource Center was filled to capacity Nov. 23, when Col. Russell A. Muncy assumed command of the 452nd Air Mobility Wing after the departure of Col. Samuel Mahaney in October.
Muncy served on active duty as a KC-135A/R pilot and squadron flying safety officer, after receiving his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1983.
He left the Air Force in 1990 but re-entered the service through the Air Force Reserve in 1995 and served as a pilot, chief pilot, operations plans officer, flying safety officer, director of operations, group commander, vice wing commander and wing commander.
At the major command level, Muncy has also served as Air Force Reserve Command’s tanker operations officer where he coordinated the command’s tanker operations responding to the events of 9/11.
Presiding official for the assumption of command ceremony was Brig. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr., 4th Air Force commander.
“I can’t thank the community enough. I can’t thank the teammates here on the base (enough), the senior leaders sitting here today. We’re about one team and no seam,” he said. “Rusty (Muncy) is all about that as well, so we will do what we can to make sure that we’re working with the community and our other service partners to make this an absolutely outstanding operation. Rusty is the right guy at the helm today to do that.”
After receiving the wing’s guidon, signifying official acceptance of command of the 452nd AMW, Muncy delivered his remarks to the audience.
“It is a privilege and an honor. I’m in awe, and ready to take on the significant challenge that is commanding the 452nd Air Mobility Wing, as well as being the commander of such a historic and relevant base,” he said. “The history here is just awe-inspiring and I am humbled to be a part of that history. But without the community support that we have, we would never be here. It is tremendous support that has been here from 1917 to present. The community really has played such a role in ensuring this base’s livelihood and longevity. My role though, as I see it, is to ensure that that longevity continues to flourish.”
In addition to his proven and distinguished leadership at the wing and major command levels, Muncy has also deployed numerous times in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, JOINT FORGE, DELIBERATE GUARD, NORTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM and participated in deployments in a joint role for Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and NEW DAWN.