192nd Operations Group welcomes new commander

Col. Thomas K. Wark, 192nd Fighter Wing commander, passes the guidon to Col. William J. Butz during the 192nd Operations Group change of command ceremony at Langley Air Force base, Va., March 3, 2013.  Butz assumed command of the group from Col. David R. Nardi.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Carlos J. Claudio)

Col. Thomas K. Wark, 192nd Fighter Wing commander, passes the guidon to Col. William J. Butz during the 192nd Operations Group change of command ceremony at Langley Air Force base, Va., March 3, 2013. Butz assumed command of the group from Col. David R. Nardi. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Carlos J. Claudio)

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. – The Virginia Air National Guard’s 192nd Operations Group, 192nd Fighter Wing, bid farewell to Col. David R. Nardi as he relinquished command to Col. William J. Butz during a change-of-command ceremony held March 3, 2013, at Langley Air Force Base.

Col. Thomas K. Wark, 192nd FW commander, officiated the ceremony.

Nardi served two and a half years as commander of the 192nd Operations Group and has been reassigned as vice commander of the 192nd FW.

During his closing statements, Nardi looked toward the formation in front of him and said he was honored “to have had the opportunity to lead this group. I’m amazed everyday by what each of you do and I don’t know if I’ll ever have another experience like it, so for that, I thank you.” He thanked the group’s families for their sacrifices, which allows them to serve. He also thanked leadership for the opportunity to be an operations group commander.

Wark mentioned how long it has been since a drill status guardsmen commanded the operations group. “Many you don’t realize this, but it’s been over a decade since we’ve had a drill status guardsmen command the 192nd Operations Group,” he said. “It’s taken a long time to get to this point and ‘Seymour’ (Butz) is the ideal man to do that.”

Butz is a 1985 graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Va., where he received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. In 1989, he received his commission in the Air Force through the Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

In his civilian job of 14 years, Butz is a pilot who flies internationally. He is based out of New York and is a first officer for Delta Airlines where he flies the 767 extended range passenger planes.

Butz thanked leadership for “putting the trust and confidence in me to take over and lead this outstanding group of men and women.”

“I have been on drill status for 15 years in this unit and I can honestly say I have never seen a more disciplined, dedicated and professional group of men and women,” he said.

Butz is a command pilot with more than 3,300 hours in the F-22 and F-16C/D aircrafts. He comes to the operations group with combat mission experience in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.