With the passing of the guidon, Col. Todd Dyer assumed command of the 99th Air Base Wing from Col. Cavan Craddock during a modest change of command ceremony here, June 11.
Maj. Gen. Charles Corcoran, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center commander, presided over the ceremony, which was closed due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
“The work Col. Craddock has accomplished will positively impact Nellis, our Air Force, our joint force, and our partner nations for years to come,” said Corcoran. “Since his arrival in 2018, he saw to the development of critical mission infrastructure which will propel the premier operational testing, tactics development, and advanced training missions housed here at Nellis and lead the way towards the realization of true joint, all domain warfighting. The Shadow Operations Center, Virtual Test and Training Center, and 53rd WG data lab are just a few of the many key capabilities that came on line during his tenure.”
“Additionally, I can’t say enough about his steadfast leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. He had to make some really tough, often unpopular, decisions, and those decisions have enabled Nellis to sustain its critical missions in support of our nation’s warfighters. As a result of his leadership, Nellis remained one of the most mission-capable bases across the Air Combat Command enterprise in spite of the virus.
Additionally, during his tenure, Craddock garnered approvals and funding for a new swimming area which recently broke ground, 5G cell service for the base, and an off-base housing contract to address a dorm deficit.
The departure of one command team signals the welcoming of a new one as Dyer, an F-15E pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours, takes the reins.
Dyer will lead the 5,300 Airmen providing mission assurance to six wings, 52 tenant units and 14,000 personnel across the Nellis AFB and Nevada Test and Training Range installation complex.
“As I take command today, my vision and goal for the Airmen of the 99th is simple,” said Dyer. “Let’s continue to build relationships and execute at the level of excellence this wing is known for while creating an environment for our Airmen and their families to thrive. My family and I are excited to join such an amazing and diverse group of Airmen, and I know that together we will advance the Nellis legacy.”
Craddock, who took command in May 2018, praised the last two years as the best assignment because of the unique challenges it posed and the amazing Airmen he was able to lead.
“This assignment was an amazing opportunity and a great way to culminate my career,” said Craddock. “It was the honor of a lifetime to lead the Airmen of the 99th Air Base Wing. I knew when I took command that if I empowered them that they would establish dominance — and they’ve done just that. I could not be more proud of all they have done and I thank them for their amazing service.”
The ceremony marked not only the end of a command tour but a new beginning, as Craddock and his family look onward to retirement life after a successful 25-year career.