143d Airlift Wing Receives New Command

Major Jeremiah Buckenberger (right) assumes Command of the 143d Civil Engineering Squadron from Colonel Anthony Hamel, 143d Airlift Wing, Mission Support Group Commander during a ceremony held at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island on February 8, 2015. Outgoing 143d CES Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Bartlett, retired from the 143d Airlift Wing on February 7, 2015. National Guard Photo by Technical Sgt Jason Long (RELEASED)

Major Jeremiah Buckenberger (right) assumes Command of the 143d Civil Engineering Squadron from Colonel Anthony Hamel, 143d Airlift Wing, Mission Support Group Commander during a ceremony held at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island on February 8, 2015. Outgoing 143d CES Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Bartlett, retired from the 143d Airlift Wing on February 7, 2015. National Guard Photo by Technical Sgt Jason Long (RELEASED)

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Francoeur, incoming commander of the 143d Airlift Wing Operations Group, Rhode Island Air National Guard, Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island is promoted to the rank of Colonel. He was pinned by his wife and children at a ceremony held at Quonset ANGB on February 8, 2015. National Guard photo by Technical Sgt Jason Long (RELEASED)

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Francoeur, incoming commander of the 143d Airlift Wing Operations Group, Rhode Island Air National Guard, Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island is promoted to the rank of Colonel. He was pinned by his wife and children at a ceremony held at Quonset ANGB on February 8, 2015. National Guard photo by Technical Sgt Jason Long (RELEASED)

Colonel John Sullivan (right) relinquishes command of the 143d Airlift Wing Operations Group by passing the guidon to Colonel Arthur Floru, Commander, 143d AW at a ceremony held at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island on February 8, 2015. National Guard Photo by Technical Sgt Jason Long (RELEASED)

Colonel John Sullivan (right) relinquishes command of the 143d Airlift Wing Operations Group by passing the guidon to Colonel Arthur Floru, Commander, 143d AW at a ceremony held at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island on February 8, 2015. National Guard Photo by Technical Sgt Jason Long (RELEASED)

Colonel Joseph Francoeur assumes command of the 143d Airlift Wing Operations Group by receiving the guidon from Colonel Arthur Floru, Commander, 143d AW, at a ceremony held at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island on February 8, 2015. Colonel Francoeur is replacing Colonel John Sullivan who has taken a position at Joint Force Headquarters-RI. National Guard Photo by Technical Sgt Jason Long (RELEASED)

Colonel Joseph Francoeur assumes command of the 143d Airlift Wing Operations Group by receiving the guidon from Colonel Arthur Floru, Commander, 143d AW, at a ceremony held at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island on February 8, 2015. Colonel Francoeur is replacing Colonel John Sullivan who has taken a position at Joint Force Headquarters-RI. National Guard Photo by Technical Sgt Jason Long (RELEASED)

8 Feb 2015 -- February 8, 2015 - Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, Rhode Island - Colonel Arthur Floru relinquished command of the 143d Airlift Wing to Colonel Daniel Walter during a Change of Command Ceremony held in the Maintenance Hangar at Quonset Air National Guard Base in front of the Airmen of the 143d Airlift Wing and distinguished guests. Colonel Floru served proudly as the Wing Commander for three years. He guided the Wing through several successful inspections, Air Shows and an Air Force wide known International Training Program. Col Floru has taken a position at Joint Force Headquarters-RI as the Chief of Staff for the Rhode Island Air National Guard.

Colonel Walter, Vice Commander of the 143d AW, assumed command from Col Floru. Col Walter addressed the Wing stating that the focus will remain the same for the Wing moving forward. Our physical fitness and professional military education emphasis will continue with the addition of leadership training opportunities for both enlisted and officers. He went on to say, "I'm also a bit worried that we've been working so hard for so long we've forgotten how to enjoy each other's company and that's not a trivial thing. We just don't know each other as well as we used to. To be good Wingmen we've got to know each other like family." One of his goals going forward will be to encourage the Rhode Warriors to spend more time with one another outside of the duty day.

Col Walter added that we have a lot of work ahead of us but he is confident that we will tackle the jobs and get them done in true Rhode Warrior fashion. He closed by saying, "I just want to say that I'm proud to be here, leading you, working for you. I'm proud of all the work you've done and I'm just proud to be on your team. I want you to feel that way too because if you don't you're missing the point of what we do here." Col Walter is succeeded by Lieutenant Colonel Rick Hart as the Vice Wing Commander.

Preceding the Wing Change of Command ceremony, two other units within the 143d Airlift Wing received new Commanders. Major Jeremiah Buckenberger took command of the 143d Civil Engineering Squadron during an Assumption of Command. He takes command from Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Bartlett who retired from the 143d Airlift Wing at a ceremony held on February 7, 2015. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Francoeur was promoted to Colonel, pinned by his wife and children, and then took command of the 143d Operations Group from Colonel John Sullivan during a Change of Command ceremony. Col Sullivan has taken a position at Joint Force Headquarters-RI.
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