86th AW welcomes new commander

1st Lt. Tracy Page
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Members of the 86th Airlift Wing gathered in Hangar 1 on Ramstein April 7 to welcome their new commander.

Col. Richard Johnston, a command pilot with over 4,200 hours in the C-130E/H, KC-10A, and WC-130E/H aircraft, was previously the executive officer to the Commander, United States Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base.

He is now dual-hatted as commander of the Kaiserslautern Military Community and the 86th Airlift Wing. The KMC’s roughly 53,000 people make it the largest American community outside of the contiguous United States. As the 86th AW Commander, he leads a wing composed of four groups, 14 squadrons and one detachment.

In his Change of Command speech, Col. Johnston highlighted the road ahead and his intentions to keep fulfilling the critical mission of “USAFE’s go-to wing.”

“Together with our joint and coalition teammates, we must perform superbly when called upon,” Col. Johnston said, “… whether it is supporting the mission at Ramstein and the Kaiserslautern Military Community, taking the shooters to the fight, sustaining troops while engaged, bringing home casualties, opening up contingency airfields, providing first-class DV aircraft or providing vital communications, every mission we have is important.”
The wing said goodbye to Brig. Gen. Rob Kane, who will move on to be the deputy director of operations and training for the Air Staff at the Pentagon.
Lt. Gen. Rod Bishop, Commander, Air Command Europe, presided over the change of command ceremony.