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23d Wing changes command

A photo of the 15th Air Force commander speaking at a podium

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Chad P. Franks, 15th Air Force commander, speaks during the 23d Wing change of command ceremony May 27, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Franks presided over the ceremony, which marks the next chapter in the legacy of the World Famous Flying Tigers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of community members at a change of command ceremony

Dr. Lucy Greene, Moody Support Committee, and her son, Buck, watch the 23d Wing change of command ceremony May 27, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Valdosta community members came to the ceremony to show their support for Moody and the 23d Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine Barnes)

A photo of the 15th Air Force commander presenting the 23d Wing commander with the Legion of Merit

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Chad P. Franks, 15th Air Force commander, presents Col. Dan Walls, 23d Wing commander, with the Legion of Merit during the 23d Wing change of command ceremony, May 27, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The Legion of Merit is a military award of the United States Armed Forces that is given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of the 15th Air Force commander receiving a guidon from the former commander of the 23d Wing

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Chad P. Franks, 15th Air Force commander, receives the 23d Wing guidon from Col. Dan Walls, 23d Wing commander, as he relinquishes command during a change of command ceremony May 27, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Serving as the 23d Wing commander was Wall’s final assignment before retiring after more than 24 years of service. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of the 15th Air Force commander passing a guidon to the new 23d Wing commander

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Chad P. Franks, 15th Air Force commander, presents the 23d Wing guidon to Col. Russell P. Cook, 23d Wing commander, as he assumes command during a change of command ceremony May 27, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Cook is a command pilot in the HH-60G Pave Hawk with more than 2,700 flight hours and more than 250 combat hours. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of a commander receiving a salute from a vice commander

U.S. Air Force Col. Russell P. Cook, 23d Wing commander, renders his first salute to Airmen of the 23d Wing during a change of command ceremony, May 27, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Cook recently served as the 347th Rescue Group commander at Moody. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of a commander speaking at a podium

U.S. Air Force Col. Russell P. Cook gives remarks at a change of command ceremony, May 27, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. As 23d Wing commander, Cook will lead Moody’s five groups, 21 squadrons, more than 4,000 Airmen and more than 700 civilian employees. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Hayden Legg)

A photo of an Airman revealing a name on a helicopter

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryan Vicente, dedicated crew chief, reveals the name of the new wing commander on an HH-60G Pave Hawk during a change of command ceremony May 27, 2021, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The ceremony is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of a unit’s authority and responsibility from one commander to another. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jasmine Barnes)

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.”