130th Airlift Wing welcomes a new commander

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. De-Juan Haley
  • 130th Airlift Wing

Col. Bryan W. Preece, 130th Operations Group commander, assumed command of the 130th Airlift Wing from Col. Johnny M. Ryan during a formal change of command ceremony held May 4, 2019, at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston, W.Va.

Maj. Gen. James A. Hoyer, West Virginia Adjutant General, presided over the event with state leadership in attendance.

Hoyer spoke to an audience of approximately 1,000 airmen about what it means to have a peaceful change of command.

“We have continued to do it since the formation of this nation,” said Hoyer. “That is a testament to you and to the things that you do every day,” Hoyer said. “Bryan, I have the absolute confidence that you are going to take this wing to the next level.”

Later, Hoyer lauded the commitment of Ryan, who has battled cancer during his time as the wing commander.

“Johnny, you are a hero of mine,” said Hoyer. “Even though you went through a lot of challenges over the last year and a half, you never stopped being wing commander.”

Ryan talked about his upbringing and how the Air Force and the Air National Guard helped him realize his dreams.

“I joined the Air Force in November of 1983 on a whim as a heavy equipment operator for Civil Engineering, to eventually becoming the wing commander,” said Ryan, “this has just been a phenomenal experience.”

Preece talked about the how it was both a great challenge and a great honor to assume command of the 130th AW in addition to the standard that is to continue under his leadership.

“We in the National Guard need to be an example about what is good in West Virginia. We have to be there when West Virginia calls on us in times of emergencies,” Preece said, “I think we can do these things by focusing on three things: readiness, respect for others, and being able to adapt to change.”

Preece enlisted the 130th AW in 1993 as an Air Transportation Specialist. In 1999, he commissioned as a Second Lieutenant upon completing his Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia State University. In addition to serving as operations group commander, Preece has served as the Chief of Current Operations, Instructor Pilot, Chief of Training, as well as deputy commander of the 130th Maintenance Group. Preece has deployed in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Freedom Sentinel, Coronet Oak (Puerto Rico, and Joint Enterprise (Germany). Preece is a Command Pilot with over 4,000 military flying hours. Preece is the 10th commander in the 130th Airlift Wing 64-year history.