Ceremony welcomes new 192nd Fighter Wing commander

Col. Frank J. Lobash receives the 192nd Fighter Wing colors from Brig. Gen. Dean A. Tremps, the Virginia National Guard Air Component Commander, during an assumption of command ceremony Nov. 19, 2017, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia,. Lobash then returned the colors to Senior Master Sgt. Harold R. Childs Jr., the color bearer. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Johnissa Roberts)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. — Virginia National Guard Air Component Commander Brig. Gen. Dean A. Tremps presented Col. Frank J. “Kidd” Lobash with the 192nd Fighter Wing guidon Nov. 19, 2017, at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, to ceremonially mark Lobash as the new commander. Lobash officially assumed command Nov. 1, and the ceremony with the 192nd’s F-22 Raptor flagship in the background was an opportunity to officially welcome him in front of the wing’s Airmen.

Tremps opened the ceremony with great praise of the accomplishments of the 192nd Fighter Wing as a whole and the impact the wing and its squadrons have had on the nation and the world while under the leadership of the previous commander, Col. Stephen H. “Bugs” Bunting.

“I want to thank and congratulate Col. “Bugs” Bunting for his leadership of the outstanding men and women of the 192nd Fighter Wing and their accomplishments over the past year and a half,” said Tremps. “It is truly remarkable!”

“Lobash is well prepared and equipped for the challenges of leading the 192nd Fighter Wing forward,” said Tremps.

He has excelled in each of his leadership roles, and has flown multiple fighter aircraft, including the F-15C, F-15E Strike Eagle and F-22 Raptor, and has accumulated over 2,500 hours in fighter aircraft. Lobash is a distinguished graduate from the United States Air Force Weapons Instructor Course and was later assigned as the first traditional reservist Weapons Instructor Pilot at Nellis Air Force Base, NV, paving the way for Total Force Integration.

In the VaANG, Lobash has served as an F-22 instructor pilot, fighter squadron director of operations, maintenance squadron commander and vice wing commander.

“There is no doubt that the 192nd FW will be continued to be recognized as one of the premier Air Force wings and answer our nation’s call under the command of Col. Frank “Kid” Lobash,” said Tremps. “He possesses all the attributes of a great leader.”

During his closing remarks, Lobash presented a question to the Airmen to think about while he spoke. “What is the VaANG?” asked Lobash.

“Virginia Airmen are presently supporting around the world in multiple combat theaters,” said Lobash. “The sun literally does not set on Virginians on missions.”

Lobash continued to explain what the VaANG is, the people that make it, and what they do.

“It is the people behind the machines that make us what we are,” said Lobash.

“When I ask ‘what is the VaANG,’ it’s not the F-22, it’s not the satellite or the cyber systems, it’s not the body armor or the high-tech equipment of today’s Air Force,” said Lobash. “While all of these are very impressive machines and creations, the VaANG is truly something more.”

Lobash named individual Airmen across the wing and their accomplishments that have impacted the mission. These Airmen are truly what the VaANG is.

“When we are asked, what is the VaANG,” said Lobash, “the answer from each of us is a resounding I am the VaANG!”

Story by Senior Airman Kellyann Novak, 192nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs