A change of command can be defined as an event that drives the plot of a story and occurs just before one adventure begins and another adventure ends.
Men and women of Team McChord witnessed such an event when Col. David Kumashiro assumed command of the 62nd Airlift Wing from Col. Wyn Elder during a change of command ceremony, July 17, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
It is with faith, courage, passion, patience, and humility that I dedicate myself to this great team, said Kumashiro in his change of command speech. This will never be about me. This will always be about us, working together, serving together as a team, and continuing to build a culture of dignity and respect for all.
Kumashiro assumed command of more than 2,300 active duty military and civilian personnel along with 48 permanently assigned C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, combined to support worldwide combat and humanitarian airlift.
He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1992. His experiences include service in Air Mobility Command as an evaluator pilot and in Air Combat Command as a Predator instructor pilot. He has served at the Headquarters U.S. Air Force level, commanded an operations support squadron and has been a deployed deputy operations group commander.
He is a recipient of the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Joint Meritorious Unit Award and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with valor.
A command pilot with more than 3,400 flying hours in the C-17, C-5A/B and the Predator, Kumashiro comes to McChord Field with a vast experience in multiple aircraft and looks forward to working with the C-17 and the men and women of the 62nd AW.
The thundering roar of the mighty C-17 Globemaster III, the awesome majesty of Mount Rainier this pales in comparison to the sense of awe I feel for your extraordinary professionalism, commitment and dedication, said Kumashiro.
While the colonel looks forward to this next chapter of his story, he could not go without thanking those at McChord who have paved the way for him.
Colonel Elder, you have built an absolutely incredible team, Kumashiro said. And although I know you would deflect all credit and accolades to the men and women standing before us in formation, I know your leadership, passion and love for this wing have made it what it is today.
He went on to thank the partners of JBLM, the civic leaders and community partners in the Pacific Northwest, his family and finally to the men and women of the 62nd AW. Together, we will (all) continue the tradition of unrivalled excellence here at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.