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49th Wing changes command

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Lt. Gen. Mark D. Kelly, 12 Air Force commander , Col. Houston Cantwell, Outgoing 49th Wing commander and Col. Joseph L. Campo, 49th Wing commander, salute during the U.S. National Anthem at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. July 6, 2018. During the 49th Wing change of command ceremony the responsibility of the 49th Wing was entrusted to Col. Campo. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy Young)

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Lt. Gen. Mark D. Kelly, 12 Air Force commander , hands the 49th Wing guidon to Col. Joseph L. Campo, 49th Wing commander during 49th Wing change of command at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. July 6, 2018. During the 49th Wing change of command ceremony the responsibility of the 49th Wing was entrusted to Col. Campo. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy Young)

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Col. Houston R. Cantwell, outgoing 49th Wing commander, speaks during the 49th Wing change of command at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. July 6, 2018. During the ceremony, Cantwell relinquished command to Col. Joseph L. Campo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kindra Stewart)

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Col. Brian L. Patterson, 49th Wing vice commander, leads a formation during the 49th Wing change of command at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. July 6, 2018. During the ceremony, Cantwell relinquished command to Col. Joseph L. Campo. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Kindra Stewart)

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

A new commander took the reins of the 49th Wing during the wing change of command ceremony July 6, 2018, at Hangar 500 here.

Colonel Joseph L. Campo assumed command of the 49th Wing in front of families, Airmen and local leaders.

Lieutenant General Mark D. Kelly, commander of the 12th Air Force, presided over the ceremony in which Campo, the former commander of the 432nd Operations Group, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev., took charge of Holloman Air Force Base from Col. Houston R. Cantwell.

“‘Knuckles’ Campo will continue the 49th Wing mission of producing combat power, combat aviators, and taking care of the Airmen and families,” said Kelly. “He’ll guide the transition to Air Education and Training Command with a steady hand. Holloman, Alamogordo and our Air Force are lucky to get him, his wife, Sarah, and daughters Kayla and Hailey, here. All the best as you take command of this phenomenal wing.”

Campo inherits the wing as the 92nd commander since its organization as the 49th Pursuit Wing on Nov. 20, 1940. He now leads four groups and 19 squadrons supporting more than 17,000 military and civilian personnel. He is a command pilot with more than 2,200 hours in the remotely piloted aircraft such as the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper as well as the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

“To the men and women of the 49th,” said Campo, “I will tell you coming into the job my passion is mission and people. It has been a long time, but my focus is people. As a commander, that means resourcing and supporting you and your families to the best of my ability, because each of you are the true champions of getting that mission done.

“As you come in this gate or look around, you see a simple statement,” said Campo. “‘Combat airpower starts here,’ and I think nothing else defines what we do, our mission and our priorities better than that statement.”

It is a military tradition to hold a change of command, and it represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility to the new commanding officer.