NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Brig. Gen. Charles Moore Jr., 57th Wing commander, will be handing over command of the 57th WG to Col. Christopher Short, former 366th Fighter WG commander, from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, during a change of command ceremony Feb 28 starting at 9:57 a.m. outside the Thunderbird Hanger.
Moore took command of the 57th WG nearly two years ago. During Moore’s stay at Nellis AFB he has managed to maintain training to sustain a ready force while helping steer the base through finical constraints.
“He has created an environment in the 57th WG where ideas and innovations are heard and the people closest to the issues have a voice to make things better,” said Tech Sgt. Anthony Grisafe, 57th WG command chief assistant. “He’s a leader of hearts and minds. Anybody with legitimate power can command hands, but Brig. Gen. Moore makes you want to do your best for him.”
Although he is looking forward to his next role in the Air Force, Moore said his time as a commander has been some of his best in the Air Force.
“Nothing can compare to command,” Moore said. “I have fortunately had one other wing command at Shaw AFB, and any command opportunity is a huge privilege and an honor.”
His time at Nellis AFB reinforced what he already knew about the Air force.
“It’s not about the billions of dollars in assets we have sitting on the ramp, it’s not about the incredible training airspace and environment that we have here or the institutions we have at the base,” Moore said. “It’s about our Airmen that make this incredible mission here happen.
“That’s why everybody wants to come here and train with the [Airmen] that we have here.”
Moore said one example of this, and what surprised him the most while at Nellis AFB, was when all the budgetary issues and sequestration caused Nellis AFB to battle for some of the things that he always assumed would be safe, such as the U.S. Air Force Weapons School classes, Red Flag, Green Flag, the 57th Adversary Tactics Group and U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron.
“What I’m really proud of is that we shut down many operations here completely that have never been shut down before. We were able to restart all those processes again and do it without anyone getting hurt, killed or the loss of any assets all while maintaining our high level of expectations in terms of the training that we provide,” he said. “Now to have our weapon school going back at full speed, a three week Red Flag with our [close] allies going at full speed, Green Flags going at full speed, the Thunderbirds are about to hit the road to start their great season and all the other organizations in the wing running at full capacity like they never missed a beat is something that I’m really proud of.”
The overall professionalism and hard work of Nellis AFB Airmen is something he will truly miss when he leaves.
“I think the thing that sets Nellis and the 57th WG apart is just the level of performance and the level of commitment to excellence that [Airmen] have here that is recognized not only in our Air Force but in our joint force partners and all of our coalition friends,” Moore said. “They exceeded [my expectations] which is very hard to do because I had very high expectations of Nellis.
“That’s what I think happens when you take the best of the best and put them together in the same organization with a clear goal in mind.”
Although Moore is not looking forward to giving away command of the wing he grew to love, he said he does so knowing he will be handing over command to what he knows are truly capable hands.
“Col. Short and I were at the Air Force Academy together so we have known each other for a very long time,” Moore said. “He is a strong and incredibly capable leader. I think he understands exactly what I do, which is give the incredible Airmen we have here the resources they need and get the heck out of the way and watch what they do.”
As Moore prepares to leave he can’t help but hope he leaves at least half the impression on the Airmen at Nellis AFB as they did on him and his family.
“This has truly been an honor and privilege in my career. My wife and I love everything about the 57th WG, the people, the mission and this will definitely be the highlight of our career,” Moore said. “It’s a real honor being able to work with people that are so dedicated and willing to make such sacrifices for their country every day.”