Switzer takes command of 130th Operations Group

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Eugene Crist

Col. Bryan Preece relinquished command of the 130th Operations Group to Lt. Col. Richard Switzer during a formal change of command ceremony held May 4, 2019 at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base, Charleston, West Virginia.

Col. Johnny Ryan, 130th Airlift Wing commander, presided over the ceremony with West Virginia Air National Guard leadership as well as 130th Airlift Wing command staff in attendance.

“I have enjoyed watching the pair of you grow into the leaders you are today,” said Col. Ryan. “Bryan assumes command of the wing later today and Richard, I have every confidence that you will continue leading the operations group into the future.”

Switzer entered service in 1994 where he started in the Information Management career field for the 130th AW. Eleven years later, he became a line navigator for the unit. He served as a line navigator for seven years before earning a spot as the 130th Chief of Weapons and Tactics Operations. After that, he served as the Director of Operations, a C-130 Instructor Navigator, and the Airlift Squadron Commander.

“Our number one goal in the Ops Group has not changed,” said Switzer of his plans for the Operations Group. “We will continue to train and operate safely and prepare our Airmen to be ‘Ready to Go’ whether that is in support of Combat Airlift or Aeromedical Evacuation. I want the group to be known for having the most professional, capable Airmen who are ready to support operations anywhere in the world.”
“This is my 25th year in the 130th.  I have been blessed with many opportunities because of my time in the Guard.  No matter what I was doing in the civilian world I kept being pulled back to the 130th.  The people in this unit are amazing and I’m proud to be serving alongside of them.  I’m humbled and grateful to have this opportunity and I would not be here without the support of my wonderful wife Courtney and our two amazing boys, Thomas and James,” said Switzer