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New Nomad takes the helm at fighter wing

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  • By 33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 33rd Fighter Wing welcomed a new commander, June 19, in an official ceremony attended by personnel, their families, community members and Team Eglin partners.

Col. Lance R. Pilch formally accepted the role when he received the wing flag from Brig. Gen. John A. Cherrey, Air Education and Training director of intelligence, operations and nuclear integration, Randolph AFB, Texas. The Nomads said farewell to Col. Todd D. Canterbury, who departs for a new position within the F-35 Integration Office at the Pentagon, Washington D.C.

The new leader of the F-35 Lightning II Integrated Training Center held assignments as a fifth-generation fighter squadron commander, F-22A Raptor and F-16 Fighting Falcon instructor pilot, director of operations, and senior military evaluator. Pilch is a command pilot with more than 2,700 hours in various fighter and heavy aircraft, including more than 900 hours in the F-22A. Prior to arriving here, he served as the commander of the 3rd Operations Group, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

"To the men and women of the 33 FW, I’ve witnessed your accomplishments from afar and I’m already proud of you," said Col. Pilch. “You get the mission done every day and you do so professionally, and you treat each other with dignity and respect.”

The wing anticipates reaching initial operational capability under Pilch’s command.

“From this moment forward, my family and I are dedicated to the men and women of the 33 FW and our mission here,” said Col. Pilch. “We’ll give you all we have.”
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