86th AW welcomes new commander

by Senior Airman Amanda Dick
Ramstein Public Affairs

Members of the 86th Airlift Wing came together in the Dual Bay Hangar on Ramstein July 31 to welcome their new commander.

Col. Mark Dillon took command of the 86th AW from Brig. Gen. Bill Bender at a ceremony officiated by Lt. Gen. Philip Breedlove, 3rd Air Force commander.

“Colonel Dillon is no stranger to teamwork,” General Breedlove said. “I am confident he will continue the legacy of teamwork and mission accomplishment which has flourished here under his predecessor.”

In his change of command speech, Colonel Dillon thanked General Breedlove for the trust the general has placed in him to lead the 86th AW.

“Let me begin by thanking General Breedlove for his faith and confidence in this Airman and the opportunity to command the world’s best airlift wing,” the colonel said.

The new commander also remarked how members of Ramstein were “100 percent trained, equipped and combat ready for any challenge.”

“You are some amazing warriors. You fly, fight and win every day,” Colonel Dillon said.

Colonel Dillon, who has been selected for the rank of brigadier general, added how humbled and honored he was by the sacrifices of military members and their families in service of the United States. As the commander for the 86th AW, Colonel Dillon will command a wing consisting of six groups and 29 squadrons at three bases located in Germany, Spain and Belgium. Colonel Dillon was the 60th Air Mobility Wing commander at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., before taking command here. Prior to that, he was the U.S. Transportation Command liaison officer to U.S. Southern Command in Miami, Fla.

General Bender has been selected for reassignment as the director of warfighter systems integrations and deployment at the Office of Warfighting Integrations and as the chief information officer to the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.