The 64th ARS is the active-duty unit at Pease which collaborates with the 157th Air Refueling Wing, an Air National Guard unit, as part of the Air Force’s Total Force Integration initiative.
Zaker served as the 64th ARS commander for more than three years.
“About three years ago, I put in my package to become a squadron commander,” said Zaker, standing in front of his family and Wingmen. “It was intimidating because I was volunteering to go anywhere in the world that the Air Force needed me to go. However, if you had opened up a book and told me to pick my next assignment, this would have been it.”
Zaker lauded Pease for its proximity to scenic vacation spots, laughing along with his audience.
He then cited the guidance and support from 157th ARW leaders, such as the Commander, Col. John W. Pogorek, as being key to his success.
“Sometimes command is a lonely road,” said Zaker, addressing the Wing leaders. “I appreciate you guys always leaving that door open for me.”
Zaker next praised the airmen of the 64th ARS.
“The 64th is stacked with talented airmen who bring it every day,” said Zaker. “I can honestly say that I’m just trying to keep up with you all.”
The 64th ARS belongs to the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. Col. Robert L. Hanovich JR, the commander of the 22nd Operations Group, participated in the ceremony.
“This squadron has maintained a legacy of excellence since coming to Pease,” said Hanovich. “Under your leadership, Josh, they have continued to thrive. You turned yourself inside out and poured yourself into this squadron. You should be proud.”