Oliver relinquishes command of 515th AMOW to Lamberth
Brig. Gen. William Bender (left), commander of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., passes the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing (AMOW) guidon to Col. Douglas K. Lamberth during a change of command ceremony May 30 for the 515th AMOW at the Missing Man Formation Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Lamberth assumed command of the 515th AMOW from Col. Stephen Oliver. (U.S. Navy photo by David D. Underwood Jr.)
by Chad J. Dull
Historian, 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing
6/4/2012 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- Col. Stephen W. Oliver Jr. relinquished command of the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing to Col. Douglas K. Lamberth during a change of command ceremony May 30 at the Missing Man Formation Memorial at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
"You have accomplished much in the last two years. The mission results in support of our customers that Maj. General Bender just reviewed are impressive," Oliver said to those who attended the ceremony. "You have answered the call of others so that they may prevail, and it has been amazing to watch you accelerate global mobility for the warfighter throughout the Pacific in order to fuel the fight, deliver hope and save lives."
"There are two words that sum up how I feel today, and that is proud and thankful. I am proud of all that you have accomplished, and I am thankful for the great Airmen and their families who make our mission go safely, by the book, and on time, even as we gather here today," Oliver said.
"It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your wing commander. You are all our family, our ohana as we say here in Hawaii, and we will miss you greatly. Thank you and God bless you."
Among the many highlights of Oliver's tenure as commander, the 515th AMOW provided disaster relief to Japanese citizens after a devastating earthquake, tsunami and meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear reactors. He led the Joint Task Force-Diego Garcia air-sea multi-modal deployment and redeployment of 105 Army helicopters to and from Afghanistan, saving the Department of Defense approximately $20 million in transportation costs and focused on multiple command improvement initiatives, including $94 million of infrastructure projects.
"The flag that we are passing today is significant ... it is a flag, it is a guidon, it is the colors of the 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing," said Brig. Gen. William Bender, commander of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center.
"It's significant because of the responsibility that goes along with the position. It represents what Col. Oliver has done so well and what Col. Lamberth is about to do," Bender said.
The incoming commander, Lamberth, most recently served as vice commander of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. Prior to that, he was U.S. Transportation Command's liaison officer to the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and United States Forces Korea at Yongsan U.S. Army Garrison in Seoul, Korea.
"I promise you that I will give you everything I have, and although I carry the title of commander, understand that I work for you. I will work hard every day, look out for our best interests, and ensure that we are organized, trained and equipped to continue to be the best in the business," Lamberth said as he took command.
"Our focus will be on mission, people and excellence. We will be disciplined, and we will continue to professionally and safely deliver en route airlift, air refueling and aeromedical evacuation support as only you know how," he said.
"It is with a deep sense of pride and humility that I am able to call myself a warrior today, a Pacific mobility warrior. And there is no place that I would rather be," Lamberth said.
The 515th AMOW is headquartered at JBPHH and serves as the Pacific arm of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center and Air Mobility Command. It's mission is to provide agile en route capability to accelerate global air mobility for war fighters throughout the Pacific, utilizing command and control, aerial port operations and aircraft maintenance.
The diverse wing is comprised of two air mobility operations groups, six air mobility squadrons, three detachments, and six operating locations. In total, the 515th AMOW contains nearly 1,800 geographically separated personnel across nine time zones.