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97th AMW welcomes new commander with change of command ceremony
ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command, salutes the members of Altus AFB during the 97th Air Mobility Wing change of command ceremony, at Wings of Freedom Park, June 27. Gen. Rice served as the reviewing officer as Col. Anthony B. Krawietz, 97th AMW commander relinquished command to Col. William A. Spangenthal. Rice is responsible for the recruiting, training and educating Air Force personnel. His command includes the Air Force Recruiting Service, a numbered air force and Air University. AETC trains more than 293,000 students per year and consists of 12 bases, more than 67,900 active-duty, Reserve, Guard, civilians and contractors, and 1,369 trainer, fighter and mobility aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jesse Lopez / Released)
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Altus AFB welcomes new commander with change of command ceremony

Posted 6/27/2013   Updated 6/28/2013 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Kenneth W. Norman
97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

6/27/2013 - ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla.  -- Col. William A. Spangenthal assumed command of the 97th Air Mobility Wing June 27, 2013 during a change of command ceremony at the Wings of Freedom Park.

"We don't bring in people to fill someone else's shoes," said Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., commander of Air Education and Training Command and reviewing officer of the ceremony. "We bring people who bring their own flight boots with them. They wear those boots to make their own footprints on the organization. I can tell you as I looked across the Air Force for just the right person to come to Altus to take this mission forward for the next two years, I found exactly the right person who is fully qualified to accomplish this very important duty, and that is Col. William Spangenthal."

Spangenthal previously served as the commander of the 376th Expeditionary Operations Group, Transit Center at Manas Air Base, Kyrgz Republic. Prior to that, he served as the United States Transportation Command liaison to U.S. Central Command/U.S. Special Operations Command at MacDill AFB, Fla., and as the 21st Airlift Squadron commander at Travis AFB, Calif.

"I am looking forward to working with the Airmen that we have here, they are tremendous," Spangenthal said. "We have great Airmen in this United States Air Force. We have the finest in the world. They do amazing things and they are brilliant people. So listening to them, hearing their stories and being able to leverage their capabilities to make our Air Force better is really what I am looking forward to."

During the ceremony former commander, Col. Anthony B. Krawietz, performed a final inspection of the Airmen in formation, relinquished command to Spangenthal and spoke about his experience while at Altus AFB.

"The mission got done every day, we trained the next generation of air refuelers and airlifters and we prepared our Airmen to deploy to support the war fighter and I couldn't be more proud of them - they did it in an excellent fashion," said Krawietz. "We are leaving a great group of people. We are certainly going to miss them and the community."

Krawietz will move on to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, U.S. Strategic Command Center for Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction at Fort Belvoir, Va.

"I can't say thank you enough, I have to remember who gets the work done," Krawietz said. "I have to recognize the individuals at every level. They just want to succeed, they just want to take care of you, and they just want to know what direction to go. I have learned so much about that and the people who are willing to stand up and say 'pick me coach, I'm in, I'll deploy, I'll go to work tonight, I'll go to work in the morning and if you need weekends too, I'll do that.' It is a level of appreciation I didn't fully understand until I got to see a whole community in action and I will certainly take that with me."

Spangenthal says he is excited for the opportunity to lead the Mighty 97th, and is looking forward to bringing experience from his previous assignments to the mission here.

"I've spent my whole career as a consumer of the product at Altus," Spangenthal said. "I believe I understand what the combat forces need to look like and what the combatant commander needs out in the field. So I can't wait to bring some of that knowledge and experience to our folks who assist on that part."

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