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Farewell to a history-making Wing Commander

  • Published
  • By Capt. Nicole L. Ashcroft
  • 179
      Ohio National Guard Assistant Adjutant General for Air invites you to join him on Sunday, April 18, 2010 as Col. Mark L. Stephens relinquishes command of the 179th Airlift Wing to Col. Gregory N. Schnulo at 2:30 p.m. in Hanger 409.
      During his 30 years at the 179th Airlift Wing, Stephens has made a tremendous impact on its members. Since assuming command of the 179th Airlift Wing in December 2003, he has successfully led the unit through numerous inspections, which has led to various awards and recognitions to include: Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force General Thomas D. White Environmental Quality Award, ANG Outstanding Military Personnel Flight of the year, ANG Outstanding Command Post of the Year, ANG Environmental Award, Ohio Adjutant Generals Award for Environmental Excellence, Alan P. Tappan Award, and many others. Assuming command post 9-11, Stephens has deployed hundreds of his Airmen in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and safely returned them all home to their loved ones. Additionally, his leadership has led the Wing through staggering turmoil stemming from the 2005 BRAC announcements and brought them to the other side; a bright future with a unique new mission for 179th members to complete the many years to come.
      Although Stephens will be missed, a multitude of best wishes follow him as he assumes command of the 121st Air Refueling Wing in Columbus, Ohio. He shares this farewell message with all members of the 179th Airlift Wing:
      "Rest assured the Wing is well positioned to continue on with the tradition of excellence you are all accustomed to. Your leadership team will keep you informed as we make the necessary adjustments for a smooth transition in command. It has been an extreme privilege for me to be a member of such an outstanding organization for 30 years and to have spent the last six years as your Commander. But all good things must come to an end and it is time for me to move on. This is not goodbye though as I also look forward to continuing to work with the 179th as our Wings carry forward the great partnership we have developed over the years as the state's two AMC Wings. I wish you and your families all the best and God speed in your future endeavors."