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New leader takes helm at Morris Air National Guard Base as former retires

  • Published
  • By 162nd Wing Public Affairs
  • 162nd Wing Public Affairs

Members and guests of the Morris Air National Guard base bid farewell to one leader to welcome another during a dual change of command retirement ceremony here Sept. 10. 

Col. Brant Putnam took command of the 162nd Wing from Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Butler, who after more than 35 years of service with more than 27 years here in Tucson, retired. 

Assistant Adjutant General for Air, and Air Component Commander, for the Arizona Air National Guard Maj. Gen. Troy Daniels who also serves as the Air National Guard Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs presided over the change of command ceremony.  

“The wing has an incredible history going back over six decades with incredible achievements,” said Daniels. “A long line of fantastic leaders and of course a team behind them that makes everything happen, contributes to mission success.” 

Daniels acknowledged the wing’s commitment to service and strategic contributions to the overall national defense strategy through strong partnerships around the globe during challenging times. 

Putnam, one of those in the long line of incredible leaders at the wing, previously served in various command positions during his more than 26 years at the wing and most recently as the wing’s deputy commander. Now he is responsible for more than 1,800 members of the Air National Guard with operations at MANG, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and Libby Army Airfield. 

During his first address to the audience, Putnam shared what he answers when senior leaders ask how the wing is successful.  

“Leadership and work ethic, leadership at every level paired with an absolutely unrivaled work ethic, these two things are the foundation of our culture,” said Putman. “Our culture of leadership and work ethic allows us to continually find and forge a way forward and to thrive rather than survive.” 

Immediately following the change of command, Maj. Gen. Michael T. McGuire former Arizona adjutant general presided over the retirement ceremony. He recalled during a challenging time for our world, the global pandemic, he asked Butler to lead the wing. 

Despite reservations, Butler served as commander of MANG beginning April 2020.   

“Thank you for three and a half years of excellence, you are the premier wing in the United States Air Force, I believe it and you should too,” said Butler. “No other wing works as hard as you do or outflies you and I proud of that.” 

He will continue to contribute to the mission of training the world’s best fighter pilots as he moves to civilian role as an F-16 Fighting Falcon flight simulator instructor.