MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The 23d Wing and Moody Air Force Base welcomed Col. Russell P. Cook and said farewell to Col. Dan Walls during a change of command ceremony May 27.
U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Chad P. Franks, Fifteenth Air Force commander, presided over the ceremony. The event marks the next chapter in the legacy of the World Famous Flying Tigers as Cook takes command of the installation and the historic wing.
“Growing up in south Louisiana I was enamored with the Flying Tigers, who at the time were at England Air Force Base,” Cook said. “What struck me then, and what strikes me now, is when the world is in turmoil, the Flying Tigers are ready – they’re the first out the door and the first to fight.”
Before Cook accepted the guidon and command of the 23d Wing, Franks wished Walls and his family the best of luck and commended him on the level of support he provided to Team Moody during his tenure.
“The Flying Tigers have been exceptional because they were well led,” Franks said. “The Airmen of the 23d Wing are definitely better because of your leadership. These combat-capable Airmen and aircraft stand ready to support our national defense as the Air Force’s premier close air support and combat search and rescue force.”
Franks then introduced Cook as an accomplished leader with the ability and experience to lead Moody’s five groups, 21 squadrons, more than 4,000 Airmen and over 700 civilian employees.
“(Col. Cook) comes to us from command of the 347th Rescue Group, so it is clear he understands the mission of the Flying Tigers and he understands the challenges that come with it,” Franks said. “I have complete faith in his ability to lead this wing of incredible Airmen.”
Cook is a command pilot in the HH-60G Pave Hawk with more than 2,700 flight hours and more than 250 combat hours.
“I look forward to being on your team,” Cook said. “I’m ready to show the world, friends and foes alike, that Tigers lead.”