The 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., is officially under new management after a modest change of command ceremony Aug. 7, 2020, in the Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit hangar.
Incoming commander, Brig. Gen. Michael “Johnny Bravo” Drowley took command of the wing from Brig. Gen. Robert Novotny in a ceremony presided over by Maj. Gen. Charles Corcoran, United States Warfare Center commander.
“Tactics, testing, and training — those are the three primary mission sets that the Warfare Center provides and the 57th Wing has the lead on two of those,” said Corcoran. “The 57th Wing is a special wing and a special wing deserves a special leader.”
“The vital mission of the 57th Wing leaves no time to rebuild, we have to reload,” continued Corcoran. “It was pretty clear that Johnny Bravo was the guy. He has excelled in everything he’s ever done in the Air Force, at every level of command, and I have no doubt he will continue to do that here.”
As the new commander, Drowley will now lead the most diverse flying wing in the Air Force including four groups and 37 squadrons. His primary mission will be to develop professionals who lead advanced, realistic, multi-domain tactics and training focused on winning air combat operations.
For his role in leading such a diverse mission and wing so successfully, Novotny was presented the Legion of Merit for advancing the lethality of the wing and enabling the integration of two groups into a singular advanced training operations group.
During his closing remarks to the wing, Novotny expressed his gratitude to the men and women of Team Nellis.
“I feel resolved, proud and excited today,” said Novotny. “I feel that way because I’m giving the wing to an incredible man and patriotic friend, Johnny Bravo. No matter what challenges come your way I know you’ll tackle them and make the 57th Wing better.”
“Thank you to the men and women of the 57th Wing,” said Novotny. “You’ve poured your blood, sweat and tears into the mission and I’m so grateful. It’s been the pleasure of my life to serve with you. I will miss this greatly, and I wish General Drowley the best of luck as we all sit back and watch the amazing things the 57th is going to do.”
Drowley, who previously served as the commander of the 355th Wing at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., has a history of leading combat Airmen. He commissioned in 1996 upon graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is a command pilot with more than 2,400 fighter hours in the A-10C Thunder Bolt II, including more than 200 combat hours.
“I don’t know how you exceed a flight path vector that’s going straight up, so my promise to you is that I will continue to add as much fuel as I can and strive to take the wing to greater heights,” Drowley said during his first address to the wing.
He concluded the ceremony with his admiration for the hardworking Airmen at the 57th WG and outlined his expectations as the new commander.
“When our nation calls for our readiness as we get ready for the next great power competition or that next great adversary, the 57th Wing is going to lead the way,” said Drowley. “Whether it’s the operations groups, weapons school, the Thunderbirds, or maintenance that is where our leadership will come from who stand ready to take us to the next level. Today, I offer you this promise, I owe this wing so much and I can’t wait to repay it every day with service and being your wingman.”