120th Fighter Wing receives new commander
By Maj. Rick Anderson, 120th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 16, 2009
Great Falls, Mont. -- During the official change of command ceremony held Sunday at the Montana Air National Guard, Col. J. Peter Hronek "took the stick" and became the 18th wing commander in MTANG's rich 62-year history.
The change of command ceremony, which is deeply rooted in military history dating back to the 18th century, was held in the maintenance hangar. The large door of the hangar was opened and an F-15 was used as a backdrop for the passing of command.
Col. Michael McDonald relinquished command to Col. Hronek as Brig. Gen. Bradley Livingston, commander of the Montana Air National Guard, served as the presiding official. Numerous former commanders, generals, chiefs, and members of the local community were in attendance. The 341st Missile Wing Commander, Col. Michael Fortney and other leadership members from Malmstrom also witnessed the occasion.
Colonel Hronek may become known as the "been there, done that" commander. He's been a member of the Montana Air National Guard for more than a quarter-of-a-century. During that stretch, he has held numerous key-leadership positions including an intelligence officer, chief of safety, commander of the logistics group, maintenance group and the operations group. He has served as a group commander twice in Iraq and was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism. Additionally, he is a command pilot with more than 3,400 hours of flight time.
Colonel Hronek has selected his senior leadership. Colonel Matthew Lynde, former maintenance group commander will now serve as the wing vice commander. Colonel Lynde has served as the operations support flight commander, chief of safety, and the chief information officer at Joint Force Headquarters in Helena. He is a command pilot with more than 3,700 flying hours. He has been the maintenance group commander for two years.
Colonel Thomas Mora, former wing vice commander, will now serve as the maintenance group commander. Colonel Mora has served as the MTANG financial manager, the communications flight commander, and the deputy mission support group commander. He was also appointed as the Department of Defense Air Force One Project officer. He has been the vice wing commander for two years.
Colonel Mark Snyder will continue to serve as the commander for the medical group. Colonel Snyder has served as a flight surgeon, the officer in charge of flight medicine, and an aerospace medical physician. Colonel Snyder is a drill-status-guardsman at MTANG and is a full-time anesthesiologist in Missoula. He has been the medical group commander for 20 months.
Lieutenant Colonel Troy Frost will remain the mission support group commander. Col. Frost has served as a budget officer, the services commander, and the human resource officer at Joint Force Headquarters in Helena. Colonel Frost has served as a commander in Iraq. He has been the mission support flight commander for two years.
Interviews and the selection process for the operations group commander and the wing command chief will soon begin.