ALTUS, OK- Friday, June 26, the official Wing Change of Command ceremony was held at Altus Air Force Base. The change of command ceremony is a tradition upon the departure of one Wing Commander and the arrival of a new. Airmen of the Mighty 97 Air Mobility Wing, community partners, as well as some distinguished guests, family and friends, bid farewell to Col. William Spangenthal and family, as they embark on a new adventure, and welcomed new Wing Commander, Col. Todd Hohn, wife and son.
Major General James Hecker, Commander of the 19 Air Force, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, gave the opening remarks of the ceremony, where he teased and joked a little, but most importantly acknowledged and praised Col. Spangenthal for the two years he served as Wing Commander of Altus Air Force Base, the strong relationship he built with the community and all of the great accomplishments and recognition brought to him and the base during the course of his leadership.
Some of the accomplishments and recognition attained under Spangenthal’s leader include but are not limited to, the Medical Group being ranked number three out of 414 medical services and hospitals for customer service, out of all the Department of Defense, Col. Spangenthal created the First Airmen Resiliency Center, and because of limited resources available and cut backs of the DoD, he saved 95 million dollars without affecting the mission, also among the highest of honors, Altus Air Force Base was awarded the 2014 Commander in Chief’s Annual Award for Installation Excellence.
“Probably what I’m most proud of about Spanky is how he took care of his Airmen, he listened to you, he truly cared, and he gave you a lot of things you hadn’t had before,” said Hecker.
As Col. Spangenthal, wife and kids will be moving to the Pentagon to serve the Country in a new capacity, Major General Hecker says the only thing that makes it easier is that Altus Air Force Base will be in good hands with Col. Hohn.
Col. Hohn is coming to Altus Air Force Base, from the Pentagon, Washington, District of Columbia and is well qualified for the duties before him.
Master General Hecker’s message to Col. Hohn was simply, “Small family, but guess what you just got about 4,000 other family members here. Take care of them like you take care of Rock (Hohn’s son). If they’re doing something wrong, correct them, do it out of compassion and love because you care, if they’re doing something right, praise them and if they need discipline, give it to them but do it for the right reason, because you’re trying to make them better Airmen, better for our society, because you love them. If you do that, you guys will be fine,” said Hecker.
Col. Spangenthal expressed his gratitude for the support of his family, Altus community and all of the Airmen during his two years serving and leading AAFB.
“I’m grateful for the time we had together, I’m humbled to know that I was entrusted with the crown jewel of your education and training and more importantly I was entrusted with the health and welfare of you and your families,” said Spangenthal. “Congratulations to the Hohn family, what a privilege to pass on the 97 to a great team.”
The official change of command took place and Col. Todd A. Hohn is officially the new Wing Commander of the 97 Air Mobility Wing at Altus Air Force Base.
“I’m going to help take this team to the next level. This place is running top notch, I’m looking forward to continue leading us to excellence,” said Hohn. “I’m hoping I get to enjoy and really experience that relationship through the base and community. This is an amazing opportunity and an amazing town.”