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12th Operations Group welcomes new commander

12th Operations Group chance of command

Col. Robert Moschella, 12th Operations Group commander, gives a first salute after taking command July 24, 2020 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Prior to assuming command Col. Moschella was the Division Chief of Air Combat Command’s Test & Training Division, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

12th Operations Group chance of command

Col. Mark Robinson, 12th Flying Training Wing commander passes the guidon to Col. Robert Moschella, 12th Operations Group commander, July 24, 2020 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Prior to assuming command Col. Moschella was the Division Chief of Air Combat Command’s Test & Training Division, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Sean Worrell)

12th Operations Group chance of command

Col. Mark Robinson, 12th Flying Training Wing commander and Col. John Ludington, outgoing 12th Operations Group commander, stand at attention as the Legion of Merit citation is read July 24, 2020 at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph. Col. Ludington will become the new Inspector General at Air Education and Training Command. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Sean Worrell)

Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas --

Members of the 12th Operations Group welcomed their new commander during a change of command ceremony, July 24, 2020.

Col. Robert Moschella assumed command from Col. John Ludington as Col. Mark Robinson, 12th Flying Training Wing commander, presided over the event.

"To think of how far the 12th OG has come under your leadership is almost overwhelming” Robinson said. “The complete revamping of the pilot instructor training pipeline, the rewrite of nearly every syllabus under your command, revolutionary changes to remotely-piloted aircraft training program, expanded Introduction Fighter Fundamentals mission areas, absorption of an aerospace physiology flight, the safe-keeping of thousands of causal students, the first ever Master Aviation Instructor cadre, Pilot Training Next, Undergraduate Pilot Training 2.5, Accelerated Path to Wings, T-7 bed-down and the list goes on and on.”

Robinson went on to speak about Ludington’s character as a leader.

 “Through all these initiatives and programs one thing remains constant, supremely dedicated leader focused on all the right objectives and intently passionate for his Airmen and civilians.”

Robinson then presented Ludington with the Legion of Merit, earned in part  by graduating over 2,200 new instructor pilots, weapons systems officers, instructor combat systems officers, remotely piloted aircraft pilots, sensor operators, and fighter Wingmen from the United States and its coalition air forces.

Before relinquishing command Ludington reflected on the last two years of command.

"The men and women in the 12th Operations Group – officers, enlisted Airmen, civilians, and the contractors who support us – come to work every day committed to safe, professional, and disciplined operations.  These Airmen have taken on huge challenges - from day-to-day mission execution, to developing and deploying innovative training tools and technology, to continuing to operate and train while confronting a pandemic – and made it look simple.  Command is an absolute privilege, and that’s especially true when you have great squadron commanders, superintendents, supervisors, and Airmen all working together to make the mission happen.”

With a final salute between Airmen and their outgoing commander, a passing of the guidon from Ludington to Moschella, and applause from the crowd, the 12th OG welcomed their new commander.

Addressing the 12th OG for the first time, Moschella expressed his gratitude to lead the world renowned airpower Blacksmiths.

“It is an incredible honor for me, and I feel blessed to a have an opportunity to lead and care for the Airmen of the 12th Operations Group.  The mission of the 12th OG is incredibly important to our Air Force, and I am dedicated to executing the Blacksmith mission while continuing to innovate the way we train our Airmen.”