165th Welcomes New Commander - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/06/04

165th Welcomes New Commander

A new commander is taking charge of the 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard. Colonel Steven Westgate has seen the 165th through some of the most tumultuous times in recent American history, Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and the 165th Airlift Wing has proudly served in both.

"Homeland security, peace in the world. All of that," said Colonel Westgate. "We're a part of that."

It is a big job; however, today Colonel Westgate faces one of his biggest challenges yet: leaving the 165th to become the Chief of Staff for the Georgia National Guard. While he's looking forward to his new position, the 165th is his pride and joy.

"We've accomplished our missions and we've been accident free with unit aircraft," he said.

In a moving ceremony, the men and women of the 165th Airlift Wing bid him a fond farewell, while welcoming in a new colonel. Colonel Tom Moore will take over command from Colonel Westgate.

"It is an honor," explained Colonel Moore, "and I'm very humbled for the opportunity to do this."

With support missions still continuing overseas, both men say the biggest challenges the 165th Airlift Wing will face are the coming deployments and making sure their families are taken care of.

"We obviously want to help those family members back home," added Colonel Westgate. "So there's more work to be done."

"The best thing I can do is make sure the spear is still sharp," said Colonel Moore, "and we're at the tip of it."

It is a daunting task, but one both men say they're proud to be part of.

The 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard deploys again next month.

Reported by: Melanie A. Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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