By Colonel Richard P. Martell, 157th Air Refueling Wing Commander
/ Published September 17, 2009
September 1, 2009 -- I would like to share with you an announcement from The Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. William N. Reddel III, on leadership changes in the Wing.
"NH National Guard members, Brig. Gen. Sears and I are pleased to announce that Col. Paul "Hutch" Hutchinson, currently the 157th Operations Group Commander at Pease, has been selected to become the next 157th Air Refueling Wing Commander, NHANG.
He will take command of the Wing in January 2010, when current 157th Wing Commander, Col. Dick Martell, assumes his new role as Chief of the Joint Staff, JFHQ/ NH.
Col. Hutchinson will also become a member of the Joint Executive Staff, which, in concert with the Adjutant General, provides joint leadership for the NHNG as a whole.
Col. Hutchinson is a KC-135R Instructor/Evaluator Pilot with more than 6500 military flight hours. He has prior active duty experience and is presently on a leave of absence from American Airlines where he serves as a commercial airline pilot.
Col. Hutchinson has been a member of the NHANG since 1999 and has held several command positions including 133rd Air Refueling Squadron Flight Com¬mander, Squadron Commander and 157th Operations Group Commander.
Brig. Gen. Sears and I have every confidence that Col. Hutchinson will continue to build on the outstanding reputation of the 157th Air Refueling Wing.
Please join us in congratulating him as he transitions to his new leadership position."
This announcement sets in place the building block for our Leadership Team as it transitions to the future. This will be an exciting time for all of us because these changes come at the right time as we start to focus and prepare for: a Unit Compliance Inspection next year; an Operational Readiness Inspection in four years in partnership with the 101st (Bangor) ARW; the activation next month of the 64th Air Refueling Squadron (Active Associate); the completion of the Wing Headquarters building in the spring of 2010 as well as beginning construction on a new consolidated Operations building.
As you can see, the 157th Air Refueling Wing faces numerous challenges in the years to come. As all of you fill new leadership roles, I am certain that with the new enthusiasm you will bring and building upon the successes we have already enjoyed, that you will continue to lead the Air National Guard as "..one of the Nation's most respected Units."