192nd Fighter Wing commander to retire in March

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Col. Bryan K. Turner, 192nd Fighter Wing commander, hands his helmet bag to an F-22 maintainer after his final training flight March 3. Turner retires from the Virginia Air National Guard after a distinguished flying career as a command pilot with more than 3,900 flying hours in the F-16A/B, F-16C/D and the F-22A. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Master Sgt. Carlos J. Claudio)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. — Col. Bryan K. Turner, the 192nd Fighter Wing commander, will relinquish command of the wing and subsequently retire in March after 24 years of service.

Turner assumed command of the wing in November 2011. With more than 3,700 flying hours, he has extensive experience in the several F-16 Fighting Falcon platforms, as well as the F-22 Raptor.

Having served 14 years as an active-duty pilot, Turner said he once thought he clearly understood what the guard’s all-volunteer force meant.

“When I was active-duty, I only saw Airmen who volunteered to serve when they initially enlisted.  Every time a Guardsman comes to drill, go on orders and go on deployments, they are ‘re-upping’ their commitment to the guard and to their country,” Turner said. “I’m blown away at the amount of commitment it takes. More than ever, I love that Minuteman statue and what it stands for. It means so much more to me than most people know, because now I get it.”

During his tenure as commander, the wing repeatedly excelled in inspections and exercises, with the maintenance and operations groups earning Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards for their performance.

However, one of the things he is most proud of is the wing’s positive response to the updated fitness program, implemented in January 2011.

“The results of the new fitness program were not just to the benefit of the Air Force. For a lot of our Airmen, it became a personal gain, a life-changing thing,” Turner said. “Wing members are realizing the value of a higher standard of fitness for both the unit and themselves, and they are making permanent changes.”

Turner is moving on to the next chapter, but not without appreciation for his time with the Air Force and Virginia Air National Guard.

“The camaraderie of the unit is what I’ll miss most,” he said. “But I’m also going to miss being privy to the ongoing developments of the Air Force and the guard.

“I’ll be relegated to watching the news and reading Facebook,” he said with a smile.

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