U.S. Air Force Col. Joseph Turnham, 355th Wing commander, relinquished command to U.S. Air Force Col. Scott Mills during a Change of Command Ceremony at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, June 30, 2022.
As the commander of the 355th Wing, Mills is responsible for one of the largest installations and flying operations in the United States, and is also charged with leading geographically separated rescue, maintenance and administrative units at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and supporting 34 federal mission partners at DM.
“There is no team I’d rather be a part of to take on that challenge than this one,” said Mills. “Thank you for the chance to stand with you today and tell our adversaries that we will be ready.”
Fifteenth Air Force Commander U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Koscheski served as the ceremony’s presiding officer.
“Our Airmen deserve great leadership, and that is exactly what they get with Col. Scott Mills,” said Koscheski. “Mills comes to us with an impressive resume and is no stranger to rescue and attack missions.”
Prior to assuming command, Mills served as the 57th Operations Group commander at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Mills is a command pilot with more than 2,400 combined flight hours in the T-37 Tweet, T-38A/B Talon, A-10C Thunderbolt II and F-35A Lightning II.
Koscheski also praised Turnham and the 355th Wing Airmen for their commitment over the past two years.
“[Col. Turnham] you led this wing during one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history filled with unpredictable events that require decisive leadership,” Koscheski continued. “Commanding the wing is a challenging task. When I look back at the last two years, you have successfully executed a very challenging and complex plan.”
Over the course of his command, Turnham led five groups and 29 squadrons, and ensured the well-being of 46,000 Airmen, family members and retirees in the Tucson community. With his support, the 355th Wing won more than 191 higher headquarter awards, including the best installation in Air Combat Command two years in a row.
During the ceremony, Turnham expressed gratitude to the men and women of DM in his parting remarks.
“Commander may be the one who’s responsible, but command is a team sport,” said Turnham. “I’ve been blessed with one incredible team. I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have help me close this chapter in DM’s history and begin writing an even better one of the future. Welcome to an All-Star team my friend and the best job in the world’s best Air Force.”
Turnham will continue to serve the nation as the director of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Joint Operations Center at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.