McKenzie, Faley take command

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The 452nd Operations Support Squadron and 452nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron held formal Assumption of Command ceremonies at March Field on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014.

Col. Mark Sigler, then commander of the 452nd Operations Group, passed the guidons to Lt. Col. Nick R. McKenzie, who accepted one as the new OSS commander, and to Lt. Col. Monsita Faley, who accepted hers as the new AES commander.

“As a past two-time OSS commander myself, I understand the unique challenges and opportunities 12 different specialties bring, and how they help provide a deeper understanding of how missions are really supported,” said Sigler. “I believe Lt. Col. McKenzie has the right touch to make a connection with Airmen and make a difference.”

Sigler said that squadron commanders help the Air Force maximize its contact between Airmen and the mission.

“Of all the squadrons, AES is unique in that it capitalizes most on this direct contact and benefit to the warfighter, the sick and the injured,” he said. “I believe Lt. Col. Faley will achieve both components and take AES to a better place.”

McKenzie joined the Reserve, from active duty, in 2001, and most recently served as flight commander of the 729th Airlift Squadron, March ARB. During this time McKenzie serve as both a C-17 Globemaster III pilot and supervised both fliers and non-fliers. Prior to that assignment,

McKenzie was an instructor pilot with the 730th Airlift Squadron here, where he flew numerous combat missions in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM and JOINT FORGE.

When asked about the initial impression of his new command, McKenzie warmly responded that it was great leading the 452nd OSS team before and he is glad to be back. Additionally, McKenzie was quick to answer what he thought of this team: outstanding.

Faley joined the Reserve, from active duty, in 1989, and most recently served as commander of the 302nd Airlift Wing’s 34th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.  During this assignment, Faley was responsible for leading approximately 74 officers and enlisted personnel, and managed the execution of global aeromedical evacuation and medical care missions. Prior to that assignment, Faley assumed multiple nursing and leadership positions at March ARB.

“With a new Air Force Inspection System and other changes, having all Airmen be on the same page will be a priority,” said Faley.

Faley noted that other goals she has are to ensure squadron morale is high and that they are always mission ready.

“I’m really excited to be back at March,” said Faley. “I feel like I’m back at home.”