U.S. Air Force Col. Ryan Mihata, 86th Medical Group outgoing commander, relinquished command of the 86th MDG during a change of command ceremony at Ramstein Air Base, Aug. 11.
Col. Richard McClure, 86th MDG incoming commander, replaced Mihata after serving as the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency, Defense Health Headquarters dental branch chief in Falls Church, Virginia.
Brig. Gen. Josh Olson, 86th Airlift Wing commander, presided over the ceremony and expressed his thanks to Mihata.
“Seven months into your tenure as the 86th Medical Group commander, the Kaiserslautern Military Community was faced with a global pandemic,” Olson said. “Your leadership and knowledge helped shape how the KMC would combat COVID. This has proven to be one of our greatest challenges and I am proud to have had you at the lead.”
The 86th MDG managed more than 30 percent of RAB’s COVID-19 cases with a 100 percent survival rate under Mihata’s leadership.
“It is only through the prevention efforts of the entire community that we have made it through nearly 18 months with very few hospitalizations,” Mihata said.
McClure outlined his vision for the group and expressed his gratitude for being selected to lead the Airmen assigned to the 86th MDG in his first remarks.
“To the mighty medics, I am honored to have the privilege of being your commander,” McClure said. “Whether it be our adversaries, COVID or the next pandemic; we will ensure our medics and all of team Ramstein are ready to fight.”
As the new commander of the 86th MDG, McClure is responsible for leading a team of Airmen charged with attending to more than 101,000 appointments per year at the Air Force’s largest clinic, supporting three wings, Third Air Force, United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, NATO, 139 geographically separated units in 93 countries and the largest U.S. Department of Defense community overseas.