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Arizona’s fighter wing welcomes new commander

Col. Greg Stroud (center) assumes command of the 162nd Fighter Wing with a symbolic passing of the flag from Brig. Gen. Michael Colangelo, Arizona Air National Guard commander, March 7. The former 162nd commander, Maj. Gen. Rick Moisio (right), pinned on his second star at the conclusion of the ceremony and will move to his next post as the deputy director of the Air National Guard. (Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Sarah Elliott)

Col. Greg Stroud (center) assumes command of the 162nd Fighter Wing with a symbolic passing of the flag from Brig. Gen. Michael Colangelo, Arizona Air National Guard commander, March 7. The former 162nd commander, Maj. Gen. Rick Moisio (right), pinned on his second star at the conclusion of the ceremony and will move to his next post as the deputy director of the Air National Guard. (Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Sarah Elliott)

Maj. Gen. Rick Moisio (center) has his second star pinned on by Maj. Gen. Hugo Salazar, Arizona Adjutant General, and his wife Mary. General Moisio, the former 162nd Fighter Wing commander, will serve as the next deputy director of the Air National Guard. (Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Sarah Elliott)

Maj. Gen. Rick Moisio (center) has his second star pinned on by Maj. Gen. Hugo Salazar, Arizona Adjutant General, and his wife Mary. General Moisio, the former 162nd Fighter Wing commander, will serve as the next deputy director of the Air National Guard. (Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Sarah Elliott)

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The Air National Guard's premier F-16 fighter pilot training unit welcomed a new commander during a change of command ceremony here March 7.

Col. Greg Stroud assumed command of Arizona's 162nd Fighter Wing from Brig. Gen. Patrick Moisio before wing members, family and friends assembled at the Air Guard base at Tucson International Airport. Stroud is the wing's tenth commanding officer since its inception in 1956. He assumes responsibility for more than 1,440 Arizona Air Guardsmen.

"As I look into the audience I see many people who have helped me get to this point in my career. Thank you to all of you," said Colonel Stroud. "Our current mission will continue, and we will keep on doing business in the same outstanding way we have always done. I have every confidence in the men and women of the wing and I could not be more proud to be your commander."

Arizona Air National Guard Commander Brig. Gen. Michael Colangelo presided over the change of command. He emphasized the wing's vital role in the Guard and expressed confidence in Colonel Stroud's ability to lead the wing.

"Colonel Stroud could not be more ready. He wants to be successful and he cares about the men and women of the wing. He is the right person, and most motivated, to continue General Moisio's legacy," said General Colangelo. "We wish you and [your wife] Pennie the best of luck."

General Moisio served as the commander of the 162nd since November 2004. The audience cheered and applauded at length at the surprise announcement that he will be the next deputy director of the Air National Guard; a position that carries with it a promotion to major general.

"I would like to publicly thank General Moisio for a wonderful job at the wing. Everyone who knows him knows that everything above and beyond outstanding is his normal way of doing business," said General Colangelo.

General Moisio considered it an honor to have his promotion ceremony at the 162nd, but that the greatest honor of his life was to have led the 162nd.

"This is a great wing. It's comprised of really great people. Thank you to the men and women of the wing. The excellent performance and enthusiasm you have exhibited everyday is what has made this wing a great place," said General Moisio.

"Colonel Stroud is going to be a great commander. The continuity, knowledge and experience of the command are what make a great commander and he is going to be the best," he said.

Immediately after the change of command, General Moisio received his second star from Maj. Gen. Hugo Salazar, the Arizona Adjutant General.

"This wing has done extraordinary things under his leadership. He will continue to do great things not only for the Air National Guard, but for the state of Arizona as well," said General Salazar.

General Moisio and his wife Mary will immediately proceed to Arlington, Va. He succeeds Brig. Gen. Stanley Clarke III, who took a position as the military assistant to the Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff, strategic plans and programs. Moisio's new post was effective March 6.