FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --
Team Fairchild Airmen, Washington State government officials, and the Inland Northwest community came together to welcome Col. Derek M. Salmi as he assumed command of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing June 15.
The 92nd ARW’s accomplishments and esteemed history were highlighted and praised by the presiding officer of the ceremony, Brig. Gen. Darren James, 18th Air Force vice commander.
“Since the last change of command there are some phenomenal accomplishments to this wing. 2,600 sorties, 35 million pounds of fuel passed over 4,500 aircraft,” James said. “With the addition of the 384th Air Refueling Squadron [last year], Fairchild is now the largest tanker fleet in the world.”
Following James’ remarks, he ceremonially passed Salmi the guidon, a military tradition that symbolizes the exchange of responsibility and care of the wing from one commander to another.
After formally taking command, Salmi addressed his new team of Airmen and the Spokane community. He first spoke to the exceptional reputation of the community for supporting Airmen and their families.
“One of the undeniable benefits of this assignment is the opportunity to share in the widely-known and highly-regarded special relationship between the base and the broader civic community,” he said.
Throughout his remarks, Salmi praised the men and women of Team Fairchild for their past successes, commitment to excellence, and shared excitement for what the future holds for the 92nd ARW.
“Looking forward, we will undoubtedly continue to be tested in this dynamic and challenging international security environment,” Salmi said. “I have no reservations about the future success of the 92nd ARW, not because of anything I bring to the fight, but because of each of you and all you do to ensure mission excellence.”
The 92d ARW operates the largest tanker fleet in the world with 35 KC-135 R/T Stratotanker aircraft that are manned by 58 aircrews to support military missions worldwide. Under Salmi’s command, the Airmen of Team Fairchild will look to continue their mission of delivering Rapid Global Mobility anywhere, anytime.
“Higher, stronger and faster, you, the quiet professionals, make the extraordinary possible,” Salmi concluded.