The 64th Air Refueling Squadron welcomed a new commander during a ceremony Sept. 24. Lt. Col. Kevin Eley assumed command of the 64th ARS after serving as a Strategic Policy Fellow in Washington, D.C., officially replacing Lt. Col. Joshua Zaker.
The 64th ARS is a part of the 22nd Operations Group, based out of McConnell Air Force Base, and is operationally assigned to the 157th Air Refueling Wing at Pease ANGB. Col. Robert Hanovich, Jr., the commander of the 22nd Operations Group, officiated the ceremony.
“You and this team have an opportunity that is not only rare, but I would say singularly unique in a military first career: forging the future of air refueling,”
Hanovich said. “This team is the first ANG unit to receive the KC-46. A myriad of actions taken and the ground work this team has laid and is laying is truly historic, and will shape and guide the future of the number one acquisition program for years to come.”
After thanking the squadron for the warm welcome, Eley spoke to the airmen of the 64th ARS.
“As we move forward into a future of new opportunities and challenges, your expertise and talents will remain more critical than ever,” Eley said. “I empower each of you continue to be bold and innovative as we accomplish the mission, grow as airmen together, and support each other as our total force family.”
Mission, airmen, and family will be Eley’s focus during his tenure with the 64th.
“Mission is always our first priority. Everyone owns a piece of the mission and must understand the connection they have to its successful accomplishment,” Lt. Col Eley wrote during a recent written interview. “Airmen, with a big A - you and me - we execute the mission. That said, we must address the needs and concerns of our airmen to be effective in our mission. Family is the support structure of our airmen. Our families are the unsung heroes, working behind the scene during long hours, deployments, TDYs and exercises. A strong family support structure makes a more effective airman and, ultimately, mission success.”