ANCHORAGE, Alaska — One of the country's largest and busiest Air National Guard wings is under new command. During a change-of-command ceremony Sunday afternoon at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Col. Donald "Scott" Wenke took over command of the Alaska ANG's 176th Wing from Brig. Gen. Charles E. "Chuck" Foster.
"The relationships that I made here and the capacity for these airmen to overcome difficulties, hardships to serve others, absolutely inspiring," Foster said during an interview.
Foster served as the 176th Wing's commander for three years. During that time, he helped the wing move from Kulis Air National Guard Base at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
"We are getting our feet under us in a grand way and operating at a quite frankly unprecedented rate," Foster said. "Our ability to continue that pace of operation and to serve the state and the nation is going to increase as we kind of mold into our home on JBER."
Foster will take a staff position at the Alaska National Guard's Joint Force Headquarters.
Wenke, the wing's new commander, was serving as its vice commander. He previously worked as a fighter and tanker pilot commander with Eielson Air Force Base's 168th Air Refueling Wing.
"We already have great men and women, very capable of doing their job," Wenke said. "What I'd like to do is really start to strengthen the bond between mission and family."
Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Katkus, adjutant general of the Alaska Army National Guard, officiated the ceremony.
Contact Jackie Bartz at email@example.com