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Columbus AFB welcomes new commander to the 14th FTW

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Hannah Bean
  • 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Col. Seth Graham took command of the 14th Flying Training Wing during a ceremony here May 18 at the fire station.

Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander from Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, presided over the ceremony, in which Col. Samantha Weeks relinquished her command to Graham.

“We meet this morning, in a non-traditional way, to carry out one of the military’s great traditions,” Wills said in reference to the ceremony being conducted virtually so the Airmen of the command could witness the ceremonial transfer of command live on social media. “As we speak, COVID-19 continues to challenge our nation, and threaten our people and our future. There is no silver lining to the situation, but like all crises, it has revealed a bit more of who we are as a nation, as a community and as an Air Force.”

Before relinquishing command and handing the 14th FTW guidon to Wills, Weeks left Graham with some words of reassurance as he prepared to take command of the pilot training wing.

“Know that you have an amazing team of warriors here ready to continue the mission under your steadfast leadership,” Weeks said.

Wills then passed the wing’s guidon to Graham to signify him taking command.

As commander, Graham leads the wing’s Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training mission for U.S. Air Force and allied officers, as well as tactical training for Afghan and Lebanese pilots and aircraft maintainers in the A-29 Super Tucano at Moody AFB, Georgia.

“To the Airmen of the 14th FTW, it’s a little bit odd today to not have a crowd here or to have a formation in front of me, but it doesn’t change the fact at just how honored I am to stand here today as your commander,” Graham said. “I look forward to immersing myself in the awesome mission that we have here at Columbus and getting to know as many of the Airmen of this wing as I possibly can in the coming weeks and months. Most of all, I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of this great team. I know we have some pilots to build and some airplanes to fly, so let’s get to it.”

Graham is a B-1B Lancer pilot with more than 2,600 hours to include 741 combat hours. During his previous assignment, Graham was the 509th Bomb Wing vice commander at Whiteman AFB, Missouri.

Following the change of command ceremony, Weeks will retire after 23 years of faithful service to the Air Force.

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