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374th OG change of command

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Tristan Truesdell
  • 374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Col. Nathan Powell assumed command of the 374th Operations Group from Col. Jun Oh during a change of command ceremony at Yokota Air Base, Japan, June 14.

Col. Andrew Roddan, 374th Airlift Wing commander, presided over the ceremony and the event was attended by family members of the incoming and outgoing commanders, members of the 374th OG and representatives from across the base.

“It has truly been an honor to serve with each and every one of you,” said Oh. “You all represent the very best our nation has to offer as the United States’ forward-deployed capability that provides rapid response airlift. What you do at the tactical level leads to strategic impact in this theater.”

During his tenure as the 374th Operations Group commander, Oh led 27 theater-wide multilateral exercises and operations with 15 different nations. Similarly, he served as the 374th Expeditionary Operations Group commander for Operation Christmas Drop, overseeing the largest international collaboration to date with five nations, conducting 46 sorties and 209 bundles delivered within eight days.

The change of command ceremony is a tradition dating back to the Roman era, where military leaders would pass a baton, colors, standards, or ensigns that symbolized the passing of command to subordinates in attendance, and ensured unit members were never without official leadership or a continuation of trust.

“I’m thankful to be here and working with you again,” said Powell. “Yokota holds a special place in my heart as it is where I grew up as an aircraft commander and an instructor pilot. I look forward to continuing the strong community culture of Yokota, strengthening ties with our Japanese hosts and advancing the operation group’s readiness and warfighting capability that this theater demands to preserve the peace.”

374th Operations Group maintains a forward presence by providing rapid responsive movement of personnel, equipment and operational support in the Asia-Pacific region. Housing C-130J Super Hercules, C-12J Huron and UH-1N Huey aircraft, the 374th OG ensures the combat readiness of three operational squadrons with three distinct missions; intratheater airlift, aeromedical evacuation and distinguished visitor transport for U.S. Pacific Command and other national security policy efforts.