108th Wing welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Armando Vasquez
  • 108th Wing Public Affairs Office
With a KC-135 Stratotanker at their backs, the Airmen from the 108th Wing stood at attention inside Hangar 33-33 here May 20, as Col. Kevin J. Keehn assumed command of the 108th Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard, from Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff.

Keehn, a Bayville resident, accepted the 108th Wing's flag from Maj. Gen. Maria Falca-Dodson, New Jersey Air National Guard commander, during a Change of Command ceremony here in front of his wife, Connie; daughter, Taylor and son, Connor.

He would not be where he is today without the support of his family, said Keehn. "Thank you for having my back."

Cunniff, the outgoing commander, also thanked his family for their support and thanked the Airmen of the Wing for their loyalty and support while he was the commander.

"You are the best Airmen in the Air Force," said Cunniff. "You made my job as commander much easier".

Cunniff was recently appointed the Adjutant General of New Jersey and has assumed command for the more than 9,000 Soldiers and Airmen of the New Jersey National Guard.

A change of command ceremony is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding or flag officer to another. The passing of colors, standards, or ensigns from an outgoing commander to an incoming commander ensures that the unit and its Airmen are never without official leadership, a continuation of trust, and also signifies an allegiance of the Airmen to their unit's commander.

Since 9/11, the 108th Wing has deployed Airmen around the globe in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.