MANG celebrates change of mission

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Michael Touchette
  • 120th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Airmen from the 120th Airlift Wing, 219th RED HORSE Squadron and the Montana National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters came together on Gore Hill in Great Falls, Montana, May 31 to celebrate the change of mission of the 120th, a change of command and the retirement of Brig. Gen Brad Livingston.

The official party consisted of Montana Governor Steve Bullock; Vice Chief, National Guard Bureau Lt. Gen. Joseph Lengyel; Adjutant General of Montana Maj. Gen. Matthew Quinn; Director of Operations, Headquarters Air Mobility Command Maj. Gen. Scott Hanson; Chief of Staff, Montana Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Bryan Fox; Montana Air National Guard Commander Brig. Gen Livingston; 120th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Pete Hronek; State Command Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Zumbrun; and 120th Airlift Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Timothy Huffman.

The ceremony opened with the base honor guard presenting the colors while Tech. Sgt. Tammy Wajer and Master Sgt. Carissa Hewitt, both from the 120th Airlift Wing, sang the national anthem.

An invocation was offered by Chaplain (Maj.) Arthur McCaffrey, 120th Airlift Wing Chaplain Corps.

Governor Steve Bullock, one of the presiding officers for the event, addressed the Airmen of the Montana Air National Guard prior to the official change of mission ceremony.

"As we transfer to Air Mobility Command it is a change of mission, no doubt. But I am confident it will enhance our Guard's mission in previously unattainable ways," Bullock said. "We have a fine piece of equipment for the finest Airmen in United States service."

Senators John Tester and John Walsh, Congressman Steve Daines and Director of Operations, Air Mobility Command, Maj. Gen. Hanson also took the time to address those in attendance.

The official order was read transferring the unit from Air Combat Command to Air Mobility Command and redesignating the unit as the 120th Airlift Wing effective March 1.

Quinn, Hronek and members of the base honor guard then executed a ceremonious changing of the unit's guidon, replacing the unit's old 120th Fighter Wing flag with one reading 120th Airlift Wing. The change was symbolic; representing the unit's mission and name change.

"This starts a new chapter continuing a long service to our nation and state," Hronek said. "As different as our flying platform is, our mission for the Air Force remains the same: fly, fight and win."

Following the change of mission ceremony, command of the Montana Air National Guard was transferred from Livingston to Fox.

The guidon of the Montana Air National Guard was presented by Livingston to Quinn while Airmen from the units within the command looked on.

"Sir, I relinquish command," Livingston said.

After a few facing movements Quinn handed Fox the flag.

"Sir, I assume command," Fox said.

Livingston was recognized for his 41 years of service to the state and nation and received his final salute from the Airmen of the Montana Air National Guard as their commander.

"Truly, no commander has been so blessed to have the caliber of men and women as you, the Montana Air National Guard," Livingston said.

Fox then received his first salute from the Airmen of the Montana Air National Guard as their commander.

"My expectation is simple," Fox said. "We must succeed in the mission and we must do that in a professional manner."