192nd Operations Group welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kerry Harris
  • 192nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The Virginia Air National Guard 192nd Fighter Wing welcomed Col. Bryan "Coho" Salmon as the new 192nd Operations Group commander during a change of command ceremony at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, Nov. 20, 2016.
Col. Thomas "Bear" McAtee (ret.), former 192nd OG commander, relinquished command of the 192nd OG to Salmon.

Commissioned as an officer in the Air Force in 1994, Salmon now comes to the wing from Joint Force Headquarters, Virginia where he was the Director of Military Intelligence (JFHQ/J2). Before his time there, he served as the 192nd FW Intelligence Squadron commander and as an F-22 instructor pilot.

Col. Stephen H. Bunting, 192nd FW commander, acknowledged Salmon's value to the wing.

"He is well known in the 192nd Fighter Wing...He brings a tremendous breadth of knowledge, experience and leadership to the Operations Group," said Bunting. "He is the right leader to take the group forward and has my highest confidence."

"There is one thing I would like to highlight about the men and women of the 192nd Operations Group... In today's world there are very disruptive forces that continue to attempt to influence and challenge our way of life. As a team...you are deterring those forces and giving them the inability to affect our way of life. Providing air, intelligence, and now cyber dominance is an absolutely amazing capability," said Salmon.

"Col. McAtee, thank you for placing the Operations Group in the position it is right now," he said.

McAtee joined the VaANG in 2005 after serving more than 13 years in the active duty AF. With 24 years total military service, he now plans to transition to a civilian career with American Airlines. He said the transition of the 192nd FW to a Total Force Integration unit was the "most impressive thing" he saw in his military career.
"His service to the USAF and Virginia National Guard will have a lasting and positive impact," said Bunting.

Col. Bryan "Shadow" Turner (ret.), former 192nd FW commander, spoke of McAtee's service and friendship at the retirement service.  "You've done everything your country has asked of you and more," said Turner.

The change of command ceremony is a military tradition rooted in history in which uniquely developed flags for each organization are publicly exchanged from the hands of the former commander to the hands of the new commander. This ceremony symbolically marks the change of leadership in military organizations.