911th Airlift Wing gets new leader
Air Force reservists bade farewell to the man who helped rescue the 911th Airlift Wing from closure two years ago and welcomed aboard a new commander on Sunday.
During a ceremony at the base in Moon, Air Force officials credited Col. Craig Peters with improving overall operations while fighting to keep the base open as federal spending cuts threatened it.
The station overcame significant “headwinds” during that time, Peters said, though he cautioned reservists not to become complacent.
“Change is here, and you've got to embrace change,” he told reservists during a nearly hourlong ceremony.
Peters is leaving the 911th after a little more than two years to take up a position as joint staff in the Pentagon's Global Policy and Partnerships Division.
He handed the reins of the 911th to Col. Jeffrey Van Dootingh, who most recently led the Air Force Reserve's programs division at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.
When Peters arrived at the 911th in May 2012, the base was being considered as part of military cost cuts as the federal government aimed to reduce Defense spending by $450 billion over 10 years.
Peters worked with elected officials to keep the 911th open as he set an ambitious agenda for more than 1,200 reservists and 500 civilian employees.
The 911th safely flew 5,135 hours of missions during his command and improved the efficiency of operations, reducing energy usage by 29 percent and water usage by 35 percent, officials said.
Reservist Ian Lowe said Peters is an inspiring leader who is leaving the base stronger than when he arrived.
“From day one, he was very open and forward with us about the fact that this base had a critical role in the overall mission of the Air Force and that he would work tirelessly to do whatever he could to keep it open,” said Lowe of Bethlehem.
Maj. Gen. Stayce Harris, commander of the 22nd Air Force, said she expects Pittsburgh's base will continue to adapt to changing military needs and perhaps take on new roles, including “cyber missions.”
Van Dootingh said he hoped to build on Peters' efforts in supporting the reservists.
“What I never forget is that everyone here is a volunteer,” Van Dootingh said after the ceremony. “I just want to work for them and give them every opportunity to serve their country.”
Chris Fleisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- CMU water service to be interrupted for much of Sunday
- Gas industry remedies ‘brain drain’ in Western Pennsylvania
- Pirates’ 5-game winning streak ends with 1-0 loss to Brewers
- Paying tuition a challenge as costs skyrocket and aid varies
- Pirates find a bridge at end of baseball world in Holdzkom
- Play to watch: Inside zone read slant/bubble
- Pitt blows 10-point lead as Iowa rallies for win
- Hill District leaders irked as Penguins submit former Civic Arena site plan to city
- Starkey: Can Steelers’ Mitchell find Carolina cure?
- Penn State rolls past Massachusetts
- Penguins notebook: Crosby sits, could be out ‘couple days’