51st MXG hosts change of command 2024

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Chase Verzaal
  • 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The 51st Maintenance Group hosted a change of command ceremony to officially transfer command from U.S. Air Force Col. Todd Wydra, to Col. Kenneth Beebe at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, June 12, 2024.

Col. William McKibban, 51st Fighter Wing commander, was the presiding officer for the ceremony and facilitated the transition of authority and responsibility. The traditional change of command ceremony allowed Wydra to give parting words to the group, highlighting the accomplishments of the 51st MXG before relinquishing command to McKibban.

Wydra received a Legion of Merit award for his service and contributions to Osan AB. This medal is traditionally awarded to members of the armed forces who distinguished themselves through exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services.

The ceremony solidified Beebe’s commitment to taking on the responsibility of overseeing daily flying and maintenance operations of the 51st FW, as well as intermediate level maintenance, component repair and maintenance training for a combat wing with over 50 fighter jet aircraft.

“I’m honored to introduce Col. Beebe and his family to the 51st Fighter Wing,” said McKibban. “Continue to lead boldly because there is no time to waste. We are not aiming to fight tomorrow or next week; We remain ready to Fight tonight.”

After assuming command of the 51st MXG, Beebe gave an introductory speech and rendered his first salute to the group, symbolizing his readiness to lead and carry out the mission. The 51st MXG is responsible for having highly trained and motivated Airmen that provide combat-ready aircraft for the U.S. Air Force's most forward deployed permanently based fighter wing.

Beebe said, “I understand the importance of our mission here and know that successfully accomplishing it is neither optional nor a simple task, but it starts with taking care of our maintainers.”