Friday, June 09, 2017

EDITORIAL >> They serve and protect

The Arkansas Air National Guard installed new leaders last weekend. We welcome them to the community and salute those who served before them.

Joseph B. Wilson was promoted to brigadier general and became the chief of staff for the Arkansas Air Guard. The other general in the Air National Guard, Brig. Gen. Marc Sicard, remains as state commander.

Wilson is a Texas native who previously served as the full-time director of staff for the Air National Guard and is assigned to Camp Robinson.

Last Saturday, Col. Thomas D. Crimmins took over command of the 189th Airlift Wing from Col. Robert Ator II, who has retired. Ator commanded the unit since 2014.

Crimmins served as chief of the Air Mobility Division, 613th Air Operations Center at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii, where he was responsible for the planning, execution and support of full-spectrum air mobility operations throughout the U.S. Pacific Command’s Area of Responsibility.

Crimmins was previously assigned to the 19th Airlift Wing at LRAFB and served as the base’s vice commander.

Wilson also served as the vice commander of the 189th for more than two years before becoming director of staff.

Wilson has been an officer with the Arkansas Air Guard since 1992, spending his first eight years with the 188th Airlift Wing in Fort Smith.

He has also served tours in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Also last Saturday, state Command Chief Master Sgt. Melvin McElyea succeeded Com-mand Chief Master Sgt. Asa Carter to lead the enlisted airmen of the Arkansas Air National Guard.

The state command chief master sergeant is the senior enlisted member and adviser to the commander of the Arkansas Air National Guard for the administration and command of the more than 1,800 enlisted airmen in the Air National Guard.

To the men and women of the Air National Guard, we thank you for your service to our nation.