Home : Media : News : News Article View

New Commander Takes Rein of 51st Fighter Wing

By Staff Sgt. Greg Nash | 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs | June 18, 2019

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 51st Fighter Wing Mustangs welcomed their new commander, U.S. Air Force Col. John Gonzales, and bid farewell to Col. William Betts during a change of command ceremony here, June 18.

Lt. Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, Seventh Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony, honored to see the beginning of a new era in the 51 FW’s distinguished history.

“The Mustangs have continued and expanded the 51st [Fighter Wing’s] tradition of excellence,” said Wilsbach. “During a time of both historic provocations and potential for diplomatic success, this wing consistently provided peerless airpower and unparalleled support to the Republic of Korea under the exceptional leadership of Colonel Betts.”

For Wilsbach, Betts’ leadership capabilities amid challenges on the peninsula bolstered his confidence in the 51st FW’s ability to remain steady and ready.

According to Betts, this level of responsibility and the opportunity to lead this mission was the most rewarding assignment of his career.

“It has been the greatest honor of [my] career to lead the charge here for the last two years,” said Betts. “Osan, I will keep a watchful eye on you as you maintain the charge and I look forward to future visits to this country that I love, and will continue to pray for peace. Surely, being a Mustang will follow me throughout all the days of my life.”

Although carrying on Mustang tradition for Gonzales won’t be uncharted territory as a prior 25th Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II pilot, he’s excited to embrace his new role.

“I am so honored to have the privilege of leading the finest wing in the Air Force,” said Gonzales. “I’m honored to be your commander and look forward to working with you to build upon the Mustang legacy of valor and excellence. I have no doubt that together we will excel, defend the base, execute combat operations and sustain the force.”


Like Us
Follow Us



U.S., Malaysia Conduct Closing Ceremony For Historic Maritime Training Activity
Capt. Bob Little, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton (WMSL 752) explains the process of a replenishment-at-sea (RAS) to a Royal Malaysian sailor as part of the at-sea phase of Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Malaysia 2019. MTA Malaysia 2019 is a continuation of 25 years of maritime engagements between the U.S. Navy and Royal Malaysian Navy serving to enhance mutual capabilities in ensuring maritime security and stability.
Aug. 19, 2019 - LUMUT, Malaysia -- A closing ceremony for the annual Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Malaysia 2019

MRF-D Marines Conduct Live-fire Training at Bradshaw Field Training Area
Marines with 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, a part of Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D), fire Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) munitions during Southern Reach, at Bradshaw Field Training Area, Northern Territory, Australia on August 15, 2019. GMLRS provide pinpoint accuracy and deliver 200 pounds of high explosives directly on a target.
Aug. 19, 2019 - BRADSHAW FIELD TRAINING AREA, Australia -- High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS,

USS Oklahoma City Returns Home from Regional Patrol
Sailors assigned to the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) prepare to moor pierside following a four month deployment. Oklahoma City is one of four forward-deployed submarines assigned to Commander, Submarine Squadron Fifteen out of Apra Harbor, Guam.
Aug. 19, 2019 - SANTA RITA, Guam -- Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) returned to

Civic Action Team Palau Conducts Transfer of Authority
Capt. Steve Stasick, Commodore, 30th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR), salutes the officers-in-charge of Civic Action Teams (CAT) 133-28 and 84-06 during a Transition of Authority ceremony of the Civic Action Team at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Center as part of Civic Action Team (CAT) week. CAT Palau provides community construction support to the host nation, assists and trains apprentices with general engineering skills, facilitates a medical outreach program and coordinates community relationship programs. CAT Palau is an integral part of the U.S. mission to assist and support the development of the Republic of Palau through agreements made in the Compact of Free Association between the two nations. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the CAT mission in Palau.
Aug. 19, 2019 - KOROR, Republic of Palau -- Members of the Palauan community filled the Ngarachamayong Cultural

Medical Operations Squadron Strengthens Friendship with ROKAF Tigers
U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nicholas Ramirez, 8th Medical Operations Squadron physical therapy flight chief, teaches pilots from Republic of Korea Air Force’s 111th Fighter Squadron how to adjust their posture during a training session at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Aug. 9, 2019. Pilots often suffer from neck and back pain from flying for prolonged hours wearing their equipment.
Aug. 19, 2019 - KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- The 8th Medical Group held a special pilot-oriented physical