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NATC-A assumption of command
U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven Shepro, right, receives the NATO flag from Canadian Army Maj. Gen. James Ferron, marking assumption of the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan Aug. 15, 2012 at the Kabul, Afghanistan, International Airport. The ceremony marked two changes of command, one for command of NATC-A and the other for the command of the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Quinton Russ)
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438th AEW welcomes new commander

Posted 8/17/2012   Updated 8/18/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Melissa K. Mekpongsatorn
438th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs


8/17/2012 - KABUL, Afghanistan -- U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven M. Shepro took leadership of the NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan and the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing during a dual change of command ceremony Aug. 15, 2012 at the Kabul, Afghanistan, International Airport.

After nearly a year, Brig. Gen. Timothy M. Ray relinquished command of NATC-A and the 438th AEW, in which coalition men and women serve the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan objective of advising and developing the Afghan Air Force.

Presiding over the ceremony was the Commander, Canadian contribution to the training mission in Afghanistan, and Deputy Commanding General, NTM-A, Maj. Gen. James R. Ferron and the Commander, 9th Air & Space Expeditionary Task Force, Afghanistan, deputy commander-air, U.S. Forces, Afghanistan and Deputy Chief of Staff-Air, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command, Maj. Gen. H.D. Polumbo Jr.

Shepro comes to the 438th AEW from Headquarters United States Southern Command, Miami, Fla., where he was the director of Strategy, Policy and Plans.

After his first salute from the 438th AEW, the new commander had the following words.

"To you, the men and women of the 438th AEW, you know how important this job is -- that you bravely do every day -- and you know how important it is to the future success of our strategy. I thank you and I am honored to serve side by side with you," he said.

Also in attendance during the ceremony was Commander of the Afghan Air Force, Maj. Gen. Abdul Wahab (Wardak) who presented Brig. Gen. Ray with three certificates of appreciation and expressed his gratitude for all the work they had accomplished together.

As Ray prepared to leave the stage and Afghanistan, he had a few parting words for the members of the 438th AEW.

"I cannot tell you how humbled I am by the character and professionalism I see every day," he said. "This is a difficult mission; I know that you left what you have known behind -- the families, the comfort, the systems and organizations, everything that was normal and comfortable. You took on the noblest of causes and you do that brilliantly every day."

Ray heads to Headquarters U. S. Air Force, Pentagon, Washington, D.C., as the director of Operations, and deputy chief of staff, Operations, Plans, and Requirements.



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