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Smith takes command of 62nd Ops Group

Col. Leonard Kosinski, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, presents the 62nd Operations Group guidon to Lt. Col. Brian Smith, incoming 62nd OG commander during a ceremony Jan. 6, 2017, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The passing of the guidon is a military tradition signifying the official assumption of command.

Col. Leonard Kosinski, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, presents the 62nd Operations Group guidon to Lt. Col. Brian Smith, incoming 62nd OG commander during a ceremony Jan. 6, 2017, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The passing of the guidon is a military tradition signifying the official assumption of command.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash --

Lt. Col. Brian Smith took command of the 62nd Operations Group during a Change of Responsibility ceremony Jan. 6, at the McChord Field Theater at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. 

Smith took command from Col. David Owens, the former 62nd OG commander, who is moving on to command the 317th Airlift Wing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

Col. Leonard Kosinski, 62nd AW commander, presided over the ceremony, and explained to attendees why the ceremony was a change of responsibility, rather than the traditional change of command ceremony.

“This was unexpected,” said Kosinski “I knew [Owens] would go into wing command, I just didn’t know it would be this soon.”

Owens will take command of the 317th AW later this year, but first he will attend training on the C-130 Hercules airframe.  Because of that, the change of responsibility occurred approximately six months earlier than planned.

Kosinski said he couldn’t think of anyone better suited than Smith to take command.

“Being in charge of the best operations group in the Air Force is a huge responsibility, and he is everything you could want in a commander,” Kosinski said of Smith, who was the 62nd OG deputy commander prior to taking command of the group. “I know we are in good hands.”

After the ceremonial passing of the unit guidon, Smith thanked Owens for leading and mentoring him during his time as the deputy commander.

“This has been the best assignment I’ve ever had working for a leader,” said Smith

Smith also outlined his vision for the unit as they move forward.

“Nothing changes,” he told the members in attendance. “Safe mission execution is what we do, and it’s what we’re going to keep doing.”