192nd Fighter Wing welcomes new commander

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Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, presents the unit guidon for the 192nd Fighter Wing to Col. Thomas K. Wark, signifying his assumption of command of the unit while Col. Bryan K. Turner, the outgoing commander, watches during a change of command ceremony held March 4 at Langley Air Force Base. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia Department of Military Affairs)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. — The 192nd Fighter Wing welcomed a new commander in a ceremony March 4 at Langley Air Force Base, Va. Col. Thomas K. Wark assumed command of the wing from Col. Bryan K. Turner in front of hundreds of Airmen, family and friends gathered at the 94th Fighter Squadron hangar.

The Adjutant General of Virginia Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Long, Jr. presided over the ceremony, passing the guidon from Turner to Wark.

“These men are great officers, great leaders,” said Long. And like the great leaders of our country’s past, Turner and Wark were selected to lead the wing because they were the right men for the job, in the right place, at the right time, he said.

Wark, former director of operations for the Air National Guard, is returning to the wing after serving on the National Guard Bureau staff for three years. He was previously a member of the Virginia National Guard for 12 years and served as the 149th Fighter Squadron commander as well as the vice wing commander.

“It’s good to be back,” said Wark. “I’m looking forward to getting out and working with people in an operational environment.”

As commander, Wark intends to optimize the use of the wing through the execution of its three core missions: the F-22; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; and Supply Chain Management.

“We are clearly out of our moving phase,” he said. “We are now into normalizing operations for the future.”

Turner is retiring after 24 years of service to the Air Force and the Virginia Air National Guard. During the change of command, Turner was awarded the Legion of Merit by Long for the wing’s many successes and accomplishments under his leadership.